Last week I told you about a boy… a boy who changed my life... a boy who taught me how important it is to look past our external differences to find our inherent commonalities… a boy I loved.
Today I’m going to tell you about a book… a book which changed my life… a book which set out to show people how important it is to look past our external differences to find our inherent commonalities… a book I love.
The book, Open My Eyes, Open My Soul, was released late in 2004 as a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., and it hit the bookstores just before his birthday in 2005. His daughter, Yolanda King (who, sadly, died last year), was the driving force behind the project. Along with Elodia Tate, she collected a series of essays about diversity and human connection from amazing people like Maya Angelou, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Stevie Wonder… and from average, every day people… like me.
I submitted an essay about that beautiful boy who changed my life. Unfortunately, I just missed the submittal deadline and though I knew getting in was a long shot anyway, I was disappointed to realize my essay wouldn’t even be considered. My disappointment didn’t last, however. A few weeks after submitting the piece, I received an email from Yolanda King, telling me how much she liked it and how she was going to find a place for it in the book.
And she did.
It was the proudest moment of my life. The book is beautiful. It’s important. It’s so relevant and so necessary in today’s climate of global intolerance. It is a tribute to a great man and to everyone who has ever crossed a racial or religious or cultural barrier; to everyone who has looked beyond external differences to find – and embrace – our inherent commonalities.
It’s not as easy to find the book now as it was in 2005 but if you can, it’s worth a read… in fact, it’s worth reading over and over. It can open your eyes… and your heart and your mind… and your soul… if you let it.