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Raul’s Report: Never lose infinite hope

How Dr. King’s words live on and inspire us

By Dr. Raul Cardenas

Celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week, I’m reminded of the many impactful speeches he gave and the legacy of those words decades later. While I can’t quote much of what he said word for word, I do know that my life has been greatly enriched by his teachings and his example.

The topics of his most famous quotes include nonviolence, equality, and education. But, I keep coming back to his short, inspiring sentence about hope. Dr. King embodied civility, compassion, and caring. He remained hopeful even when he was jailed and his home was bombed in reaction to his nonviolent protests. “We must accept finite disappointment,” Dr. King said. “But never lose infinite hope.” Those few words continue to guide me in my life.

Hope is an interesting concept. It’s having a belief that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, that by moving in the same direction together we’ll get through the rough spots. Each of us has an individual responsibility to be that person, that someone who shows hope.

In our CU Denver students, I see hope and belief focused on tomorrow, embodied in a relentless pursuit of achievement. It’s easy to get discouraged and fall into hopelessness. It takes work and assistance from others to remain hopeful.

I recently talked with a student about an exclusive internship they received. Their excitement was sky-high. Like so many other CU Denver students, they’d worked multiple jobs in addition to going to school. During the late-night study sessions they’d wondered if it was all worth it, how it would all pay off, and they struggled to remain hopeful. But, with the support of our campus community, they continued to put in the hard work, never gave up, never lost hope, and reached their goal.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; but, his principles, ideals, and words live on. I know they continue to inspire me and give me hope in my daily life.

Having hope as we navigate our way through the challenges in our own lives, big or small, keeps us moving forward. Hope in ourselves, hope in each other, hope in our country, hope in our community, guides us. Despite life’s uncertainties, I believe in a positive tomorrow and hope you do, too.

Welcome back for the Spring semester!

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