Thoughts on MLK day

Written on January 15th 2018

Today was Martin Luther King Jr. day here in the US
(I’m in Washington D.C at the moment).

This past week I’ve had the privilege of being reminded of many aspects of history.
African American History. Jewish History. My own personal history.

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard not to get overwhelmed at times. I must admit, that this sense of being overwhelmed has – especially recently – led to me being less engaged, less informed, less myself in a way when it comes to who I want to be in the face of injustice, need and despair.

Being reminded of Dr. King has helped me, challenged me again to not allow ignorance or lack of information to rule my disposition.

It has reminded me, that no matter how impenetrable the wall of injustice may seem, there is always hope. There is always life to be lived. There is always love to be given.

It’s why I love this picture.

It shows a man who kept smiling.

A man who chose HOPE in the hours of deepest despair.
A man who wouldn’t take NO for an answer.
A man who believed in the power of Love so fiercely, he embraced the path of non-violence.
A man who didn’t allow his humanity to limit him, but chose to live FULLY human – allowing compassion and empathy to push him toward God, the source of his strength, his faith, his hope.

No doubt, he faced internal struggles daily.
No doubt he must’ve been tempted to give up at times.
No doubt he would’ve felt at the end of himself more often than not…

This picture also reminds me of a scripture:

‘Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue..’ Proverbs 31:25+26

Now calm down, I know this is a scripture about a woman and I’m not confused and know that Dr. King was a man.

Still, I believe he embodied that scripture.
(And hello, how many scriptures addressed to men do we totally claim all the time girls, just sayin…)
My deepest prayer is that I might embody it too.

That even in the darkest night – whether my own personal one or the night that surrounds us in this world, like Dr.King, I would choose strength and dignity.

I would choose wisdom.
I would choose kindness – believing that my little added to so many other peoples little – can and WILL make a difference.
Oh and don’t be fooled: do not mistake our kindness for weakness.
We will not stay silent in the face of injustice.

We will not stand by quietly as innocent people are faced with trials and tribulations bigger than any man or woman, let alone child – should ever face.

We will come to aid.
We will speak for those who have no voice.
We will create HOME and open our doors to those who have been displaced.
We will feed those who are hungry and stand with those who have been mistreated.

But / And in the words of Dr. King:

‘I BELIEVE THAT UNARMED TRUTH AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE WILL HAVE THE FINAL WORD IN REALITY.’

I am so grateful for his legacy.

So grateful for all the men and women, unnamed and maybe ever unknown to us, who have stood alongside him. May I be like one of them.

Grateful we get to walk in their footsteps.
We’ll do our best to do you proud.

(Ps: to me, Dr. King was one of the OG’s when it comes to living THE THIRD WAY. I love that so. Read my poem called Of The Third Way (or: neither fight nor flight) if you don’t know what I mean :))

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