Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
You have an assignment, actually a duty, to go read Martin Luther King Jr.’s, “I have a dream…” speech. Most blogs want to keep you on their page for as long as possible, but I can guarantee you, Rev. King’s words spoken in 1963 are more important than my words that I will write here. And if reading his words doesn’t stir something in you, then go ahead and come back and finish reading this post. Perhaps then something will be ignited.
Today, I would like to honor the stand that Dr. King took 55 years ago when he called our country to action, not gradualism, to be a soul force against physical force, and that if we are to judge each other at all, that it would be by the content of character rather than the color of skin. As a young white woman, I understand that I have a certain inability to relate, but for that reason I feel that much more compelled to highlight and echo some of his words. I believe the “I have a dream” speech is still so relevant to us today.
Dr. King warns early in his speech against taking the “tranquilizing drug of gradualism", compelling us not to resign ourselves to assuming that some day change would come about, but promoting urgency instead. Today, there is a need and an urgency for kindness, forgiveness, commitment and leadership. Today, there is an urgency for real relationships. Tangible and loyal relationships, not just via a mobile device. Don’t let yourself be lulled into a place of complacency. Act now. Step up and be the role model for those younger than us. Don’t be fooled into waiting for a gradual change.
Dr. King set the bar at a “majestic height” when he urged the people gathered to, “...meet physical force with soul force.” If hatred is what fuels physical force then it’s kindness, compassion, and forgiveness that become a soul force. Something that we need more of today.
“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.” What has happened to character? What could happen if we elevated character over color? Over Instagram likes? Over career status? Throughout the last couple of months we have watched a growing number of people with coveted status fall because of their lack of character. Let’s capitalize on this turning of the tide and not just expose poor character, but recognize and commend great character.
We may not be where Dr. King had hoped we’d be in 2018, but I stand and say that I do still believe in his dream. Let's take action. Let's be a soul force. And let us live with character.