We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.
The words of the inspirational Martin Luther King seem a little hollow this bleak November morning.
2016 has not been a year to celebrate for me or for many of my like-minded relatives, friends and acquaintances.
The result of the US presidential election sets the tin lid on what has been a quite dreadful 12 months.
Intolerance, racism, bigotry, outright misogyny and small-minded nationalism have become the political norm on both sides of the Atlantic.
I can find few positives to take from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, from America’s decision to elect Donald Trump ahead of the competent, experienced Hillary Clinton or from the general move of political culture to the right across much of Europe (what price Marine Le Pen and her fascist Front National sweeping France’s presidential elections next year?).
I’m tired of hearing how these votes are how the great unlistened to, the uncared for, the ignored are finally telling political elites they’ve had enough.
This is a failure not only of political leadership but of education and aspiration.
These are not votes for change, not votes to rip up the establishment and install a new more equitable order.
These are votes for a past we can never return to. The howl of anguish from mainly white men at an industrial and social world that has changed and evolved to mean much of their autonomy and power has been shared around with women and minorities of all hues.
Angry men – and women, it has to be said – who want to tear down the society they no longer control without any clue as to what horror might replace it.
Well, the rest of us are not going anywhere. Women, minorities of sexuality, ethnicity and religion. We’re here to stay. And the rights so ferociously fought for over decades will not be surrendered.
For those of us who believe in civil rights and equality for all, things have never looked more bleak.
But from the darkness must come light. It’s hard to find any hope in this most desperate of days, but find hope we must.
Again in the words of Dr Martin Luther King:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.
And I’m trying to find some inspiration in the words of JFk, one US president the world didn’t recoil in horror from:
One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.