by Doug Ulman
Having just celebrated the birthday of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. I think it is appropriate to reference something he once said: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
I spent this past weekend reading and reflecting on several things. I also had a little fun. I read a book about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that a friend of Lance and myself sent to Lance recently. It is called “Dream” and I highly recommend it. I spent some time reading more about Randy Pausch. You might recall that Randy is the professor from Carnegie Mellon University who gave his last lecture last year due to his advanced pancreatic cancer. The lecture is on You Tube and Randy and his family have been on Oprah among other media outlets. I was surprised to receive the Brown University Alumni Magazine in the mail and read that Randy was a Brown Alum. Their piece on his story was not only inspiring but terribly moving. His courage, and in fact bluntness, in the face of what many would call the greatest possible adversity, facing ones mortality, is unmatched.
I felt like I was on a roller-coaster this weekend. I spent time reflecting, and I spent time celebrating.
After reading the poignant article on Randy on Saturday morning I met an old friend at a local sports bar to watch the lowly Maryland Terrapins (my favorite college basketball team) play the #1 ranked North Carolina Tarheels, who were playing at home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The game was exhilarating and once again the giant killer Terps beat another #1 ranked team. As a side note, I think Maryland has beaten more #1 ranked teams in the last ten years than any other school. They now just need to search for consistency. Another reason the game was important to me was that I went to meet R.J. DaSilva to enjoy the game. R.J. is a former newscaster in Austin who now works for the Comptroller of Texas. He is a University of Maryland Alum and when we run into each other in town we always catch up on Maryland sports and politics.
I also wanted to share something personal with all of you. I was incredibly fortunate to grow up in the first planned city in America. It was an experiment of sorts. The goal was to provide a multicultural environment that fostered the value of diversity. When my parents moved there just two years after Columbia, Maryland was founded they were taking a risk. They hoped that raising their family in that environment would be beneficial and would instill certain values. As I type this from 34,000 feet I find myself thinking about race, politics, and movements. Race has become a big issue in the Presidential campaign recently and since today is a day in which we celebrate a man who broke down barriers, stood up for his beliefs, and led a movement to end segregation and prejudice, I thought I would share something I just recently read. We are leading a movement. We will not stop until we see massive change. While the issues discussed in the article below there are many similarities to what we are trying to achieve. The author, Michael Chabon, is from Columbia, Maryland and has written several best-selling books.
In an excerpt from the article, Chabon writes:
“I grew up half an hour from Washington, in the visionary city of Columbia, Maryland, a racially and economically integrated “New City” planned, and built, to serve as a model for a new way of thinking about race in America. Columbia and the children it raised up reaped the fruit, and savored the victory, of the preceding decade’s great struggle for equality and justice, which had made such a vision possible.”
Take a minute this week to think about how fortunate we are today as a result of those who have led social movements in the past. We are truly blessed.