Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

18 Jan

Normally, I’d post a Dr. MLK Jr. quote about the complexities of love and hate, and leave it at that. A quote that’s profound. Powerful. Inspiring.

But this year, with all of the problems America is facing right now? How could I just add another meme to the slush pile of the internet? Who would that help?

No one, is the answer. It wouldn’t encourage you to think about the context of those quotes. How they came to be. How poorly received they were and how poorly treated he was. The uphill battle every BIPOC (black, indigenous, person of color) faces every day in the United States, from its founding to now.

Nor would it encourage you to think about the divided state of our country and how we can heal those wounds. How unproductive extremism and hate is. How beneficial moderation can be.

It certainly wouldn’t get you to think about how WORDS MATTER. Rhetoric matters. Lies told are lies believed, and so, honesty matters. Not cherry-picked truths, mind you. No. The bald face of a situation, followed by productive conversations, active and compassionate listening, and beneficial solutions.

So today, instead of just a quote, I ask that you do the hard work. Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by really learning about his journey, no the history softened by time. Read some of his works that make you uncomfortable. Challenge yourself to be better. Because better is the only viable way forward for our country.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

The time is always right to do what is right.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness..

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

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