Today is a National Holiday in America. It is the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who would have been 89 years old today. His life on earth was too short, having been assassinated at the age of 39 years old. But the Civil Rights Leader’s legacy has continued on inspiring, motivating and teaching others about LOVE.
While all of Dr. King’s speeches talked about equality, tolerance and inclusion, it seems the overriding theme was always love. Because without it none of the other elements were even possible. Remember he was a Baptist Minister and most certainly studied and preached on scripture passages such as 1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God.
If you know me at all you know my purpose in life is to spread LOVE. So I have long been an admirer of Dr. King and all he worked for in his lifetime. I was lucky enough to have attended the Clinton Inaugural Concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. where in 1963 Dr. King delivered one of the most famous speeches in history, “I Have a Dream”. I also visited, along with my daughter and granddaughter, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia. It is located at the site of Dr. King’s childhood home and Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was pastor. This is also the resting place of Dr King and his wife Coretta Scott King. Lastly, I visited the Nobel Museum in Stockholm which has many items on display relating to the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize that Dr. King was awarded. All of these powerful experiences made me reflect on what he had accomplished in his life and admire him even more.
It has been said that the measure of a man’s life is to create something that will outlive it. We see it everyday don’t we? Buildings with deceased donors’ names emblazoned on them, paintings or musical compositions that are admired long after the creator has passed. But I believe Dr. King’s legacy is one that lies in all of our hearts. It is LOVE, which will continue to live on so long as we nurture it. How we do that is by sharing, caring, helping and serving others.
Thomas Merton is quoted “There is no such thing as an innocent bystander, we are all guilty bystanders if we see an injustice and do nothing about it.” Dr. Martin Luther King was brave. He took action and stood up for the rights of the disenfranchised. Through his amazing communication skills, intelligence and passion he rallied others to march, speak up and participate in non violent protests against injustice.
My hope is that we never forget history but use it as a tool, a reminder of where we have come from. And looking to the future letting LOVE, just as Dr. King preached, propel our human existence forward into one of PEACE!
Happy Birthday MLK in the name of LOVE,