There were lots of highlights at today’s Moral March on Raleigh:
- the record crowd numbering in the tens of thousands that braved frigid temperatures and wintry weather predictions,
- the impressive organization of the event itself that resulted in a shorter route, succinct speeches, and giant TV screens and loudspeakers for the thousands who couldn’t get close to the podium,
- the amazing way in which participants flooded social media sites with running commentaries, photos and videos,
- and, of course, Rev. William Barber’s inspiring grand finale speech,
to name just a few. But the coolest and most-inspiring moments for me (and I’m sure, many, many others) were the countless incidents in which individuals of incredibly diverse backgrounds — young and old, black, brown and white, gay and straight, documented and undocumented, union members and non-union members, religious and non-religious — touched hands, hugged, made eye contact, shouted in unison and shared together in a profound sense of oneness and community. From virtually any vantage point at the giant event, one could look around and see people “being” the world they hoped to create. And what a very hope-filled and encouraging world it was.
Now that it’s over, of course, people will head back to their day-to-day lives (most in places and environments that are not nearly so diverse and hope-filled). Fortunately, however, virtually all of these thousands of individuals will be bringing back with them at least a little of the positive energy and renewed sense of purpose and determination that permeated today’s March. If not another thing comes of today’s event, this fact assures that it will still have been more than worth the effort.