Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today is one where many kids stay home and folks from around the world post quotes and memes to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Our news feeds will be filled with his quotes from every conceivable corner of social media. From our friends and family to the local clothing stores we follow, all the way up to the political leaders of our nation, each will do their part to honor the man whose legacy carries on long after his untimely passing due to an assassin’s bullet. My only issue with this is that I don’t think many of them even take the time to really read the words they just posted.
We share words about equality, and yet we turn a blind eye to inequality daily. We exalt his dream, one where we join together hands in hands and live as one. However, at every turn, we seek to alienate ourselves as far away from those with differing views as possible. How can you post about coming together when you are determined to stand alone? Rember “If everyone is thinking the same way, someone isn’t thinking.” – George S. Patton.
Society loves to quote about Dr. King’s insight on darkness, and yet we make a loud and cantankerous breakdown of those whom we have disdain or disagreement with. Where is the light to be found in those vicious attacks on your fellow man? Where is the love to be found in your lack of empathy for those who have walked a path different than yours?
We speak of living a life that matters to honor him but if we believe his words to be true many of us have already started to die inside as we turn a blind eye to the cruelty that we see others demonstrate right here on feeds, our schools, and our places of work. We hit “like” and “Love” and “Smiles’ on Instagram and Facebook at some pour souls misfortune. We share a hearty laugh at others and secretly applaud when our neighbors fail. But, hey, we posted a quote about love.
I do not write this from a perch of perfection. I falter far more than I wish I did. While I am not a bible thumper, I do believe in the man above, and I do believe in the notion of original sin, and thus I know I am a fallen man. So for me, despite all of his magnificent words, I find his most powerful to be the ones listed in the opening paragraph. The intent of this writing wasn’t to condemn any of you, it was to challenge you, and me, to do what he told us too. To start first with ourselves, and challenge ourselves to do more for others. After all, we don’t remember Martin Luther King, Jr for everything he received. We remember him for everything he gave.