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Equality for all

On the third Monday in January, America celebrates the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and for many this day means a day off. For others it means taking part in a “day of service” and helping others.

For some it is a day to remember how Dr. King fought and died for equality.

Some believe the nation has come a long way in equality for all; for others that justice is still lacking.

Though we have come a long way when it comes to equality, there is still work to be done.

Since the 1960s several laws have been passed to guarantee civil rights and freedoms to Americans; however, there are groups who are still fighting for their rights day in and day out.

Those groups, including women who are still wagging the war on the pay gap between their male counterparts and people with disabilities, the homeless, those with mental illness, and the LGBTQ community, are still in a fight for equality.

Everyone, no matter their skin color, gender, or financial status or mental capacity, deserves to be accepted and treated with dignity. Think back to a time when you may have not felt accepted. Remember how that felt? Probably not good. Some live with that feeling each day.

You do not have to agree with what a person does or does not do to show them respect. We all deserve respect.

The next time you encounter someone who is “not like you,” remember, meeting that person can be a blessing. They could have come into your life to help you or even teach you. Just because someone is different from you does not make them less of a person.

In the end, we are all humans. I think King said it best, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

CRYSTAL VANDEGRIFT is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Crystal.Vandegrift@FarmvilleHerald.com.