May I start by saying Martin Luther King Jr day meant nothing to me as a teenager, only that it was a wonderful thing, since there was no school, providing me and my idiot friends the opportunity to slam down beers,
And burn down smokes in the woods all day. The holiday, and the man, they weren’t
Real, in the sense of having any meaning to me. I think to appreciate a life like Martin Luther King Jr’s, and how he lived it, requires a change in perspective, which can only happen when
The time comes
In your own life when you’ve collected at least a few kernels of wisdom so that you can be receptive to what this man did for our country. That he was fearless in his faith, and that he was a hero. And it feels like we
Need some of that heroism now. We’re
Lucky he set the example, but we need to follow it. And we need to
Understand that more importantly than what he did and when he did it, is how he did it. He didn’t
Teach those who believed in him how to make pipe bombs.
He didn’t order anybody to get on a bus with a bomb taped to their chest. Martin Luthur King Jr taught peace. His belief in peace and love made him powerful; a gentle power that all the greats seemingly understood. In the
End, he was murdered by ignorance, but what he preached and how he inspired are gifts he left to the living. Honor. Integrity. Courage. Conviction in his cause, proven by action. But most impressively—and you either believe this or you don’t, there is no middle ground—he was a shining example that peace will, in the end, always, defeat violence. It
Really will. Just as good always beats evil, and that love trumps hatred and fear. And we can play our part, and it’s not that difficult, by adopting his values and virtues:
Kindness. Equality. Truth. Passion. Compassion. But it’s time to wonder
If his teachings have been forgotten.
Now, today, he’s up there shaking his head at the racial tensions poisoning our country. It’s just so stupid. I sometimes think that if every black person woke up tomorrow morning and their skin had magically turned fluorescent
Green, and all the white people woke up and were bubble-gum pink, would people still be racist? “Welp, that guy’s green now, Willie. Fuck it, I say we still hate him.” I understand the issue’s more complicated than that, but it’s an equal level of stupidity.
Just do ONE thing today for good old Martin Luther: do something nice for somebody. A family member or friend works fine. Be bold. Kindness. Give it a shot. Its powers are