In her recent column, “What an amazing time to be alive,” Kay Cramer (Forward Thinking, July 26) wrote that “visions of how we want our world to look . . . can sustain us through the changes we need to make.” Such visions, the late civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis said in a 2017 interview, sustained him through his dangerous work in the 1960s.
Risking his life in non-violent civil disobedience, repeatedly jailed, even beaten unconscious on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Lewis said he decided to live as if the just world he dreamt of was “already here.” When attacked by those enforcing white supremacy, Lewis reminded himself that those men were once “innocent children,” and they were victims of the same system he was working to change. He led with love.
This summer, I’ve been trying to imagine a world where both racial justice and climate justice were the norm. Where any person could walk down any street and expect to be greeted with love by friend or stranger. Where every child, everywhere could enjoy nutritious food, clean water, clean air, and a safe place to play. Where justice would apply equally to all. And leaders would prioritize the welfare of all, through sustainable economies that provide a living wage and dignified work for all workers, rather than encourage industries that treat people as disposable, consume natural resources with no thought for the future, and use our planet as a free garbage dump.
I believe Cramer is right: Such a world could come into being, if we have vision and support policies to make it so.