Monday, January 17, 2011

Some Days I Look Down

We observe his birthday today, as a federal holiday, but Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's actual birthday was Saturday. We (or at least, me) have a tendency in our fast-food society to reduce Dr. King's life and his death, to a black and white, 'race relations' issue seeing it as part of the struggle for equal rights which is true as far as it goes.

But speaking of distance, in locations from Lakewood Township, New Jersey (thanks, Adam!) to Tucson, Arizona in the last week or so what I'm thinking is that on this day, and then extending to all the others on the calendar, we should see the words and deeds of Dr. King as a call for each of us to find her and his better angels and to become the change in the world we wish to see for ourselves and our children.

Such a vision would not only further forge the link in the philosophic chain from Gandhi to King but would, I hope, better enable each of us to reach and teach those like us as well as those unlike us. As we should have realized by now, it's this fear of 'the other' (be it race, creed, color or political ideology) that creates the greatest barrier to equality, freedom and justice for all.

There are many public events being held today in observance of the life of Dr. King. I don't pretend to know your schedule or your inclinations, but if you feel a need to attend and participate, know that you will be among friends. And if your day takes you in a different direction, know, too, that those who do participate will do so in your name as well as his.

"Sometimes I feel like I've never been nothing but tired. And I'll be walking till the day I expire. Sometimes I lay down, no more can I do. But then I go on again because you ask me to." It's difficult to accept that while the fear of failure often paralyzes us, it's the fear of trying that will prove to be our undoing.
-bill kenny

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