Today I feel like crying. I am on a plane heading for Cuba and leaving behind only for a little while my country which is in deep turmoil. I feel like crying when I look at John Lewis, the elderly congressman belittled by President elect Donald Trump. I look at the line etched face of John Lewis and recall how hard this man fought for civil rights. I am old enough to recall the struggles of those who fought long and hard. On this day as we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, I still feel like crying. I cry for all of us and the progress we have made that others are so hell bent on taking away. I cry for the deviciveness that has taken root and pitted us against one another. I cry for the palpable anger and helplessness so many feel. Yet there is a part of me that knows we are born for this. We are here on the planet at this time to take a stand. I used to have a mentor who always told me “piss or get off the pot.” That is now where we are. It is time for all of us to take a stand. When I hear someone belittling John Lewis, a man who along with others made it possible for me to cast a vote, eat in a restaurant, sit on a plane or any other of the myriad of things we take for granted, it brings a heaviness to my heart. It also makes me more determined than ever to take a stand against hate, violence and division. It makes me stand proud and refuse to be beaten down or denigrated. It makes me honor and respect those who came before me and to learn from their stories. We are not victims. We were born in our skins and genders to learn lessons we can only learn in those circumstances. Together we are strong, divided we are weak. Unfortunately many of us fail to realize our own united strength. What hurts one, hurts us all.