We celebrate a paid holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.
When you think of Dr. King, likely you think “I have a dream.” He was a wonderfully eloquent speaker and there are innumerable quotable phrases from his nearly 3,000 speeches over 11 years as President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Two of my favorites are
“We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can.”
King, the son and grandson of revered ministers, devoted his life to non-violent efforts to make this country more equitable and assure civil rights to all, particularly African Americans who were routinely treated as second class citizens. In 11 years, he traveled some 6 million miles in an effort ‘to create a more perfect union’. At the age of 39, this Nobel Peace Prize Winner had his life taken while in Memphis in support of that cause.
It is more than a little troubling that we live in a world where there is still a struggle for equal rights. It is still not routine that people are judged “by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” In fact, we know that the color of skin profoundly influences the way many people judge character.
Dr. King was instrumental in helping the Voting Rights Act get passed in 1965. Today, we can sit on our couch and order a book, a refrigerator, or a car! But, in many places, it can take hours waiting in a line to cast a vote. And, in some places it is now illegal to give a bottle of water to someone waiting in line to vote.
As we celebrate a National Holiday on Monday in honor of Dr. King, please think of how you can honor his legacy through your beliefs and actions. Let’s make Dr. King’s dream a reality.
Take care and be safe