“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
1. He was one of the most selfless American leaders. Ever.
Martin Luther King Jr. knew he would never see complete integration in his lifetime; he accepted the idea that he would only see a world where hate trumps love. Though he faced the most challenging of obstacles (20 stays in prison, stabbing, burned property) he still worked tirelessly for African Americans and minorities alike.
He even set a tone for justice in the nation after his passing. By dedicating his life to serving others, he ensured that all Americans to come would at least take one day a year to give back and help others. How many other leaders have agreed to that? I’m going to make an assumption that a future Donald Trump Day won’t be as popular.
“We have before us a glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.”
2. He was the answer to our prayers 60 years ago.
We often look at Barack Obama and MLK in different contexts in history. But, Barack Obama and MLK have such a strong connection that cannot be overlooked. Not today.
Sixty years ago, we needed MLK. Not everyone knew it, but we did. In an era of deep-rooted hatred over pigmentation or trivial differences emerged someone who resurrected peace among the ashes of injustice.
Today, Black Lives Matter is a national movement; Marriage of LGBTQ+ is recognized as legal on a federal level; Women hold nearly half of the country’s jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
To MLK, Obama signified who a Black man could be in future generations: The president of the United States.
“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
3. His work still speaks volumes to today’s generation.
We’re still using a myriad of MLK’s tactics today. Take the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday. MLK marched on Washington too. Other peaceful protests like sit-ins, walk-outs, petitions mark significant parallels to Dr. King’s America and ours. This is still a country where we believe that our words and actions are the manifestations of this country’s fabric.
So, don’t just take the day off today. Serve others. Be an undeniable force of change despite barriers in your way. Make your voice be heard. Don’t accept injustice or hate. These lessons, though preached to us time and again, should never be deemed archaic.
Check out this website for more of MLK’s quotable moments.
“The time is always right to do what is right.”
Listen to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” Full Speech here.