Travel Untangled: Memphis, Tennessee

A few months ago, I had some vacation days to burn and some summer to enjoy. I asked my family to join me on a road trip to Memphis. 

We could spend time with my Uncle Sonny, a retired military vet who spent many years working in the Department of Corrections. He likes structure and routine but loves when family come to visit and disrupt all that. We had a great time. We could also…

.. See one of my fave former college professors and let her meet the cuteness that is my nephew. Then we could for sure…

 

…enjoy some sights and scenes of Tennessee. On our trip, we even took a few minutes to marvel at the mighty Mississippi River which we crossed at several points. We will definitely be back though, we didn’t make it to Beale street and some of the music tours we wanted because of several crazy, stormy weather days. 

One of the places we visited that I always wanted to check out was The Lorraine Motel. This is the location where civil rights activist and leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was shot. 

In addition to a memorial for Dr. King, there is also a Civil Rights Museum taking visitors through the history and journey of blacks arriving enslaved, enduring slavery and the on-going civil rights movement, to present-day, of African-Americans in America. A powerful mixture of triumphs and setbacks, the memories cascade even today since many of us or our parents and theirs are alive and saw the up and down times throughout history. We don’t have to look far however since America still isn’t very far on the spectrum of, “all men are created equal.”

Each room in the museum takes on a different piece of history. It’s always emotional for me, but I held myself together. That is, until I walked into a room with a song playing over the loud speaker and a video with lyrics on a giant screen. They were singing, “We Shall Overcome”….and I lost it. A ball of tears. I guess the outpouring of feeling overwhelmed me. Each word as powerful and relevant TODAY as decades prior.

It was quite an experience and I would recommend you take a visit to the Lorraine Motel someday. 

No matter who you are, where you are from, how you were raised or whatever else, we can teach ourselves (our kids, spouses, friends, neighbors, politicians, families, coworkers, etc) to be/do better because we know better, to really love people – all people, to show kindness and humility in our humanity. We can absolutely change the world. 

“I may not get there with you but I want you to know that we as a people will get to the promised land” -Dr. King

Final Civil Rights Museum room has quotes from many world leaders, including President Barack Obama

Hope you enjoyed the recap of my trip to Memphis! That place is full of history, music, great food, good fun and I can’t wait to be back.

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Love Transforms

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who we remember and celebrate tomorrow, I wanted to use this post to share powerful quotes from him including one of his famous speeches.

What gives me great joy in this world is love uprooting hate. People united together in support of one another, lifting each other up, spreading light instead of darkness brings me great joy. 

A couple months ago, I was having a tough morning and I read this article. I put the link below. I cried all the way through it because it struck a major cord with my humanity. 

I hope and pray for a world that can heal and to be part of a global community of people who are fiercely serious about spreading goodness and love and peace to others. I want this world to be better and brighter because I was here. Don’t you? 

You Belong. Stay Strong. Be Blessed.

The deep division in my country and in this world across every line you can think of, saddens me. Gender, race, religion, nationality, you name it. We could overcome what divides us if only we would work together. If only love, justice, understanding, peace, humility was everyone’s first response. 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”



I remember when I was a kid in school, I had to memorize the “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. King. I don’t remember a lot of school assignments from when I was a kid but that one will never leave my memory. It was hard, a pretty challenging task and yet made tremendous impact.

This is an excerpt from the famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Just like my favorite song around Christmas is this one because of it’s powerful lyrics, the words of this speech hit home, striking more chords with my humanity.

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

May the last line of words ring true for all one day soon. Until next time friends…

Washington DC