It is easy to forget Hope during these turbulent times. It is also very easy to feel powerless and angry in the fact that you cannot do as much as you would like. During times like these is when we need to remember one of the greatest men in history. The man known as Martin Luther King Jr. You should never feel powerless. That was one of the many lessons King taught. King states in his "Drum Major Instinct" sermon, "And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, Everybody because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve...You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant."
We learned in school that Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the leading black activists in the Civil Rights movement who fought with non-violent protest. That is all technically true, but not everything there is to know about King. Martin Luther King's values were values that were and still are far ahead of his time and modern times. This man who has been summed up in schools as a mere Civil Rights activist was and still is in truth one of the greatest patriots of American History.
What King truly stood for
King was not just a mere Civil Rights activist. He fought for the people he considered to be his brothers and sisters of his nation. He spoke out to not just one faction of the American people, but to all the people of America in hopes of allowing the nation to rise up to its true potential.
King was known for speaking about love. Yet, the meaning behind the love he spoke of differs from what one might expect. He explains his concept of love in this quote:
“In speaking of love we are not referring to some sentimental emotion. It would be nonsense to urge men to love their oppressors in an affectionate sense … When we speak of loving those who oppose us...it means understanding, redeeming goodwill for all men, an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. ”
America gave King every reason to be mad, to hate and curse America. He suffered at the hands of injustice and oppression, but yet still spoke of understanding. King was telling the oppressed to rise up and not just fight for the good of the oppressed, but for the good of all. King was an advocate for everything that America is meant to stand for. For unity and brotherhood of all who called America home as well as justice for the unjust. That is what makes King a great patriot and an even greater man.
The Dream he left behind
We all heard it at least once in our lives. Most likely during Black History month. The "I have a Dream" speech. This speech is the speech he is mostly remembered for because that is the speech most schools have us learn about. The speech is referenced countless times in movies and TV shows, but how many people know the true value of the words spoken in that speech?
In reality, what King fought for was not just for #Equality, or justice, but understanding. King was labeled an extremist during his time. However, unlike most, he actually ended up embracing the title. King believed it was not wrong to be an extremist if it meant fighting for a good cause. However, in King's words, you will either be an extremist for hate or love.
His Dream continues
We need to remember that we are not powerless. We the people, regardless of ethnic back round, regardless of if we are oppressed or not, can fight if it means fighting for the good of all. Remember that Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in a world that judged him merely based off the color of his skin. Yet, he still fought for a dream few have dared to dream and fight for. What he fought for was for the understanding that people can one day have enough respect toward each other to stand side by side regardless if they liked each other or not.
I share the dream that one day all men and women will be created equal in the land that I call home. #Civil Rights Movement #MLK