I found myself wondering on Monday what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would think of America today.
We have made strides in a large number of areas. Heck, as he was criss-crossing the country shining a light on racial injustices in the 1960s, could you imagine the guffaw he would let loose if you told him in 2008, America would elect a black president?
Yes, Dr. King had a powerful dream, but Barack Obama's election more than eight years ago would seem more fiction than foreseeable in the volatile '60s.
Here's betting that Dr. King would have had a hard time believing that all 50 states recognize a day in his honor. (He would not have a hard time, however, believing that Alabama and Mississippi also celebrate a co-holiday for Robert E. Lee on the third Monday of January.)
He obviously would recognize that we have lots of work to do. A country of this size with this many people chasing their own dreams in the greatest country on the planet always will.
I think he would be proud of many of our accomplishments, especially a noticeable improvement in race relations among school-age kids across the country.
I think he would have continued working on the issue of equality. And to that end, I wonder how much success he would have.
The man was a brilliant orator — maybe one of the best ever — and his artistry with words and his charismatic leadership skills would transcend every generation.
But in this era of Twitter in which every move is analyzed, overanalyzed and scrutinized in the 24/7 news cycle, controversy plays well. It seems to me that every step forward might be a little tougher to make because our society is so much more divided on almost every issue.
Plus, the backlash against "celebrity" protests is real. From Hollywood to the playing field, there are roughly as many mortified as motivated by celebrity attempts to raise awareness and attention to causes.
You could make a hard argument that Colin Kaepernick has been right there among the most recognizable individual protesters in this country recently, and he is currently out of a job and suing the NFL for collusion.
It's never been easier to get involved considering everyone has a platform. It's never been harder though to create true change and a meaningful impact as so many of our divides — political, religious, social, economical, you name it — seem to have galvanized the opposing sides.
In truth, there's a fair testament that a lack of leadership — from each party and from all sides — has led us to the divided nation in which we can't even decide which is issue is the most pressing.
In that regard, Dr. King stepped into the polarizing void of race relations in a time when he was needed most.
Of course, his legendary resolve no doubt meant he would be trying to right a wrong somewhere in this country if he was still alive.
So we'll let him have the last word this morning.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.