Yesterday marks the 86th year since the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On Monday, the United States will observe a national holiday to celebrate and honor his life and contributions to the civil rights movement and the dignity of all human beings.
Over the years I have read about his life, admired and identified with his non-violent approach to protesting, read and considered the wisdom of his words, felt the power of his speeches, and seen a few movies portraying him or the approach he took towards seeking justice. Each "contact" I have had with the man leaves me deeply impressed and always desiring to know more.
Watching the movie "Selma" with Mara was no different. Sometimes I am awestruck considering what a single human being is able to do with what seems like a very short life. In his case, he used his 39 years to change an entire nation, and he did it motivated by the power of Love.
If you haven't seen the movie yet, please take advantage of this 3-day weekend that honors him, go to the theater with your family, and see a movie portraying the events that led to the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. See what happens when one man motivated by Love inspires others to live a life motivated by Love, and with that changes the course of history and begins to heal a nation.
The movie was truly beautiful, I hope everybody will see.
A few questions for the comment section: 1) Have you seen the movie, and if so what did you think? 2) If any readers lived during those years, would you share a thought or impression that most sticks in your memory? 3) Does anyone that is well read on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have a favorite book recommendation for someone anxious to know more about his life?
I'll leave you with a few MLK quotes I've gathered over the years that seem particularly relevant to what we aspire to share on this blog:
- Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
- Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
- So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?
- Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
- We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
- Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
- Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.
- Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
- Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.