This weekend, we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. If you are reading this, you most likely weren’t alive when Dr. King studied and wrote and talked and walked. But, because of what he did with his time on Earth, our country and our world are a better place.
Dr. King was beaten, maligned, and marginalized. He came from poverty. He dealt with different water fountains, back seats on the bus, and discrimination at the lunch counter. Through all of this:
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
That’s a challenging, difficult thing. You’ve spent so much of your life being told you are less by word and deed. And, not just you but your family and friends around you as well. It would be so easy to fill your heart with hate. But, from all his study and all his education, this is what he came to believe:
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
“Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, “Love or perish.”
We are living in a time people seem pretty divided. If you read the headlines, they are full of division. Neither side of the argument is rarely right. The answer is normally somewhere in the middle. But yet these headlines instill contempt or hatred for the other.
As Dr. King says above, hate is not a good answer. We truly are all in this together.
At that time in our nation’s history, there were awful, intentional injustices pointed at humans with more melanin than others. That was the accepted principle of the time. Dr. King and many others took a different path.
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
His promotion of love, of equality, of nonviolence were not popular at the time. Thank goodness he listened to his conscience and took a stand for that which was right. It continues to be right today. May we all have the courage to follow in his words and example.
Thank you, Dr. King.