There is so much to say about Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a “wake-up call” to our nation like no other, shaking us to the roots of our passivity in the 1960’s, and he paid the ultimate price for his courage. His own words still stir me when I hear his clear, booming voice proclaiming: I have a dream today…
Meg Wheatley speaks of people like “Brother Martin” as “accidental activists” – those who are compelled to do what they do. “In every case,” she writes, “they saw an injustice or tragedy or possibility when others weren’t aware of a thing. They heard a thundering call that nobody else noticed…They offer us dreams of bold new futures that others will never see.” (Perseverance, p.19)
Such was the life and death of Dr. King. One wonders today as we remember his actions on behalf of racial justice how we can still be so far from his vision of “one nation under God.” When hatred and bigotry seem on the rise and we wring our hands in despair about the divisions in our country, let us seriously consider that “if we’re not part of the solution, we are part of the problem” and resolve to do our part toward directional change. It begins in our minds but grows to fruition only as it reaches our hearts and we come to understand that history chooses all of us in some way for the good.