Today is Martin Luther King Jr., Day. If ever there is a time to celebrate the legacy and work of Dr. King, it is now. We are a nation with a lot of problems that relate to people trying to be people—and we really need to appreciate each other. Thus, today is a great day to revisit his words.
Of course, there are a lot of texts and quotes and sayings from Dr. King that should get you excited about being an American. These got me excited about the ideas of freedom and equality and you being you without the risk of being killed for just being you. For example: this quote, which was captured via the book The Words.
The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.
These words feel particularly “now” given our issues with guns and violence: why are we so tied to this way of thinking, of our wanting to take eyes? It feels like we’re pretty blind now. Let’s reconsider how we treat each other.
Related: this quote from Dr. King’s Nobel Lecture.
Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon.
Man: that quote. Imagine if we focused and meditated and acted on our nonviolence? Imagine if we turned to nonviolence when wanting to be powerful? Imagine that.
Feel like this is a violation of your rights and way of living? That your violence is a fact? Something else to consider from Dr. King, by way of his famous letter from Birmingham Jail.
We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was “legal”
We can’t forget that! Like, now, you can own lots of different types of weapons without any sort of repercussions. That’s legal! Yes, you and Hitler: road dogs. This leads us to where this passion is coming from:
If a man hasn’t found something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.
We have to be people of action. If we get into the rut of inaction, what are we? We might as well be an audience. We might as well be a watcher. We’re not actors. We’re not doers doing. We’re nothing if we are not making a motion, a movement, an effort toward change.
We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
Also from his Letter From Birmingham Jail in 1963, let this remind you that you can always change. You can always do you. You can always pick up and drop off and move toward a change. Be creative. Do something. Be something.
That’s why this quote felt particularly powerful. Of all his words, these are bouncing around inside me most. Let them shake you to do something. I am letting it shake me today.
The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.
You could fly away to Sky Daddy tomorrow: do you feel that you’ve done all that you’ve wanted? Were you happy? Were you fulfilled? Were you doing you? That’s what Dr. King did and we should strive to do the same.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, everyone.