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  • Kimberley Guillemet

“Everything is everything"

Lauryn Hill


I remember when I first heard the song “Everything is Everything.” I was a junior in college and one of my classmates had the new Lauryn Hill album playing on her car stereo as she drove me to my dorm. I remember that even after she had pulled into a parking spot and put the car in park, I couldn’t bring myself to get out of the car until the song was over. Its genius struck me as much then as it does today. There is tremendous truth in this simple statement. Everything is literally connected to everything else. Despite living in a day and age where we find ourselves more separated and polarized than ever, with folks digging their heels in deeper and deeper as they defend their various ideological stances, it’s more imperative than ever to remember that we are all connected. As we celebrate Black History Month, it is important to recognize that cultural pride should not occur in a vacuum; nor does it need to take place to the exclusion of inclusivity. This is true for celebrations of pride for all groups. We can celebrate our achievements in a way that both pays homage to the hard-fought accomplishments of our people, while concurrently acknowledging that we need and rely upon each other as fellow citizens of humanity, regardless of our ethnicity, creed, or background. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most prolific leaders of our time, who is widely celebrated during Black History Month, understood this truth all too well. Though often lauded for the work he did to advance the cause of equal rights for African Americans, Dr. King was a staunch advocate for equal access and justice for all people. He believed in the interconnectedness of humanity and that none of us are free until all of us are free.He once shared that he told his children, “I don’t ever want you to forget that there are millions of God’s children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don’t want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be.” As Dr. King understood, what happens to the least of us, impacts all of us. We must remember the context of humanity in which we exist. We do not thrive in a vacuum. Everything truly is everything. All of our actions impact the actions and experiences of other people in an often a cyclical and unintentionally symbiotic manner. Everyone truly is connected to everyone else. The way we move, live, and breathe in the world impacts

our fellow humans, for better or for worse. We rely on each other. We need each other. And we should care about each other.

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