“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

It may feel like there are few things we can agree on as a state and as a nation. One exception may be the macro-economic axiom that “rising tides lift all boats,” but that analogy is fraught because tides rise and fall and do not follow the same patterns in all places.

Recently, CCLP cited overwhelming data in its State of Working Colorado 2020 report, indicating that a great many Colorado workers do not benefit from positive macro-economic growth. In fact, the data show that there is a negative correlation when “economic tides” rise for some, they fall for others.

However, the intent of the tides analogy should be celebrated. It aligns with the sentiment of Dr. King’s belief that we should place humanity and humanitarian concerns above our individualistic concerns. If we focus our economic-relief efforts on those experiencing economic insecurity and poverty, then their security will help to bolster the economy for everyone.

Economic growth in the United States is based on consumption of goods and services. When more people are able to participate in a consumptive economy, everyone benefits — including big and small businesses. It is in everyone’s interest that we can ensure as many as possible participate in Colorado’s economy. Therefore, economic recovery should focus on inclusivity and break down structural and policy barriers that prevent people from fully taking part in a healthy economy.

While many of us will be unable to attend the MLK Marade because of COVID-19 limitations and restrictions this year, consider participating in a virtual event to honor and celebrate the great man’s legacy.

Finding inspiration in these dark times keeps the momentum moving, and there is no shortage of inspiration to be found in the life, words and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King.

With that, we wish you a contemplative and peaceful MLK Day.

-Tiffani Lennon, J.D., LL.M.