March is National Reading Month, a whole month designated to encouraging Americans – and by extension Wacoans – to read! The Act Locally Waco blog is beating the drum for National Reading Month by hosting a blog series throughout the month of March, called “Books Matter.” Every day throughout March we will be sharing a post about a Waco resident and a book that matters to him/her. Thank you to students from the Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media and professor Amber Adamson for help with this fun project. To read all the blog posts so far, click here.
“To quote my daughter’s favorite movie, Frozen 2, ‘Do the next right thing,’” Dillon Meek said.
Meek, a local lawyer and city council member, first read The Hiding Place in the 6th grade and then reread it about two years ago.
“It’s a true story, which I think makes it all the more compelling, but it reads like a fiction-adventure book about a family who chooses to do the right thing in the midst of really negative consequences,” Meek said.
The Hiding Place is an autobiography written by Corrie Ten Boom about how her family hid Jews in their watch shop in Poland during the height of Nazi power. This dangerous endeavor saved the lives of countless Jews, but resulted in the arrest and ultimately, the imprisonment of Ten Boom’s whole family. Once in the concentration camp, Ten Boom and her family were able to continue their ministry by showing the love and kindness of Christ to those around them.
“They weren’t looking to be these great figures of social justice,” Meek said. “But the war and the Holocaust happened around them, and they just responded as they believed they were required to. I think they did so lovingly and with dignity to the people around them. Obviously unafraid of the consequences to themselves, and I think ultimately carrying love completely, which I think is profound too.”
Meek said he believes that this story of hope and doing the right thing can continue to inspire people today as it shows how everyday people can choose to have a positive impact on the world around them. This is also a story of sacrifice, and Meek said this story encourages the people of Waco to ask the question of how they can have a positive impact in their world where there might be injustice around them.
“In Waco, for me specifically, there is generational poverty and I [think] there are solutions to resolving that,” Meek said. “My heart and my hope is that we can bring creative and innovative changes to our system to break generational poverty. That’s very different than responding to Nazis but it’s recognizing that there’s change, there’s positive impact in my world and so as an ordinary person, what can I do?”