For many, many people, including myself, what comes to mind when Martin Luther King, Jr’s name is mentioned, is the I HAVE A DREAM Speech.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Yesterday, the day set by our nation to honor MLK, Jr, was for me, another ordinary cold day in January. My hub went to work. I don’t have a job to ‘have a day off’ from, and the day prior was entirely devoted to football. So that is what carried over into our Monday: What SOUPs shall we bring to the Super Bowl party in 2 weeks that best represent the regions of New York/New Jersey and New England?
Skipping through the blogosphere and judging by the lack of hits on my blog yesterday, I would say to a lot of people, this Monday WAS a different sort.
Oh yea, it’s MLK Day. Oops. (oh yea, no mail delivered today.)
I’m reaching here, but I hope I can offer this lame excuse to be a day late in my tribute, that the point that this amazing, dedicated man had is that we need to think about the dream on OTHER days, not just that one in January each year. Mr. King spoke many inspiring words. The quote list in my quick research was far reaching, comprehensive, and multitudinous. I present a few, with my thoughts following.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Somewhere I read a thought-provoking post quoting a German who lived through the holocaust and how we may need to pay better attention to Islam. Also yesterday, I received an email with warnings along the same lines, about good people remaining silent and not protesting the dangers of fanaticism. About how people will dispute that the holocaust was real, ‘it never happened.’ Could I be considered one of these unaware but ‘good’ people? Just living my life, quietly going through my days.
The four quotes above tell it all again. We must PAY ATTENTION and call out injustice.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
We must work for peace. And not be discouraged be a view that PEACE is only a destination to be arrived at someday, somewhere. But working IN PEACE, each day being the peace we wish to see, than we will be moving in the right direction.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkless of destructive selfishness.”
Tonight I begin my 4 week training class to be a volunteer for reading and literacy with a local library system. I have no idea what all this will ask of me, who I will be helping – immigrants, youth, court-ordered offenders? Does it matter? The time component is at least one hour per week; very doable. Tomorrow, I begin visitations a Rehab hospital in town for individuals working through brain injuries. On Thursday, I add another nursing home to my places to administer some pet therapy with my pup. I have made contact with a Hospice organization to inquire about training to be a ‘vigil volunteer’. Last year, I talked about these ‘plans’ that were mere ideas only. So far, this year, I am pleased with myself for getting out of my comfort zone and putting myself on this path to give and learn more about ‘me’ in the process.
“We must use time creatively.”
May I not stress out about time commitments – I know I can tend to feel crushed with to dos and would so prefer to snuggle up at home and make clean laundry my highest priority. That would be me at my lowest. I look forward to reaching just a little bit higher and maybe even feeling good about it, too.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
LOVE. Take a deep breath and choose love. I embrace this dream. Thank you MLK, Jr, for the dedication, persistence, strength, courage, and for giving everything to share your dreams of a better world.