I started out unsure of what to write. Any honest post would combine the shame and embarrassment that I did not embrace the true nature of King’s mission until I had seen the kind of injustice and hatred in government that King’s peers and community saw ever day of their lives. As someone said to me “for you this is unreal, for others, it would just be Tuesday.”
It was like being visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present.
There is no justice until we all are equal under the eyes and hands of the law, and we are protected from the abuse if its power. Until then, one man’s prosperity rests on another’s oppression.
As a nation, we can no longer – and should no longer – split ourselves off to where one group views King as a hero to some “them,” or “other” drawn on race lines. Where there are victims, there are culprits.
King’s mission sought to liberate and redeem. I don’t know if that’s what he meant or not – what little I’ve read makes it seem so. But I do know that a society that realizes the dream he had in tangible terms that can be measured and felt will see the redemption of those who participated either in silence or deed, and the liberation of those who suffered.
No matter how privileged or blessed you may be, no matter how sheltered you’ve been from the true darkness that pervades our society, you will benefit from the successful materialization of King’s vision of justice and equality.
There’s a story about the Buddha (and no, I’m not comparing myself to Buddha), but if I remember it correctly, the prophecy was that Buddha would stay a complacent, prosperous prince unless he stepped outside the palace enclave and see the suffering of the world.
We now have Buddhism, you do the math.
What I take away from this is that when we truly see the wrongs and evils of the world, we are compelled to act. In my more spiritual and metaphysical moments, I take away that sometimes the Universe shows us that which we don’t want to see or know in order to impel us to action.
Don’t wait long.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, do one thing to fight a wrong. Just. One. Thing. Write a letter, make a call. Support the ERA, advocate for children’s rights, take a vocal stand against racism, violence against people of color. Don’t just sit around the dinner table and discuss “tsk, tsk,” how bad it is over free trade coffee and organic fruits.
Take one small stand, put your name to one small voice.