During a recent visit to Washington, D.C., I got a chance to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial south of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
Fourteen King quotes frame the 30-foot statue of the civil rights leader, but one struck a particular chord given our national and local discord.
We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.
To be a society that can live with its conscience, we must find a way to resolve disputes with compromises that yield respect for all. No matter how long the Confederate Memorial stood in front of the Hillsborough County Courthouse, it was time for it to be moved from the hall of justice.
Those who support the statue will soon find it in a new home. Those opposed will accept it still stands.
I hope the commission doesn't revisit the issue.
To be a society that can live with its conscience, we must give more to those who have less. Through time, talent and treasure, everyone needs to find a way to help. Too many people are waltzing through life without enough care for our most needy.
Don't just talk about it, be about it.
To be a society that can live with its conscience, we have to commit to better funding for public transportation, not just because it makes us more attractive to businesses and residents, but because as we rise, we must lift.
To be a society that can live with its conscience, we have to find a better way to salute, support and celebrate teachers. This state faces a shortage of teachers because it has failed to match the job's demands with earnest and meaningful incentives.
To be a society that can live with its conscience, we must do more to protect children. We can't yawn at reports of a girl forced to sleep on a bathroom floor before being killed and stuffed in a freezer by her mother.
To be a society that can live with its conscience, we have to focus more on honoring those in their twilight years. Elder abuse can't be part of our everyday lexicon, and their living histories should be cherished.
To be a society that can live with its conscience, we have to push to move social justice from an abstract term to a reality.
To be a society that can live with its conscience, we can't live with society's imperfections without pushing to change them.
That's all I'm saying.