When you think of Dr. Martin Luther King today, what comes to mind for you?
Do you find yourself wishing for the same society of peace, unity, love, and acceptance that Dr. King had fought for?
I know I do. The audacity of some to internalize prejudice, discrimination, and hatred within their heart, mind, and soul. As if life isn’t hard enough, we have to fight for the equal right to live.
This article is written (and published) to acknowledge a man with class, dignity, and honor. It is also written to remind us of the power of grace.
Dr. King embodied so many admirable qualities that adds such a rich tapestry of cultural legacy and inheritance to my own life and society in general. His example should permeate our society more often than on just today. After a long weekend full of malice, it is important to reflect on the difference one person can make with a heart full of love, courage, and persistence that love will prevail.
Fighting the battle of hate is a long and tedious journey. But it’s a journey I believe is well worth the fight.
As I review Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, I see many qualities that can aid all of us in our quest to help the helpless, the discouraged, the forgotten, and the marginalized. Such qualities include but are not limited to:
- Perseverance: Dr. King provided a wonderful example of perseverance and passion for the pursuit of equality and change. He did not allow the obstacles against him to deter or discourage his plight.
- Integrity and peace: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sustained a high level of integrity, often refusing to respond to social and racial pressure in negative ways. He held the goals and desires of the oppressed as if they were his own. He did not bully others to support his cause or force others to submit to his political endeavors.
- Knowledge: Dr. King was not only concerned with equality but also self-knowledge. He educated the world to the personal, racial, and social oppression experienced by People of Color. He encouraged them to know their rights and stand up for them.
- Unity: Dr. King emphasized the importance of social unity in attempting to achieve justice and national attention to a problem that plagues humanity. For the mental health field, for social justice and activism, and for the future of our youths, it is important that relationships and bridges are built.
It appears that in some states we have made progress in bringing national attention to a much-needed discussion on breaking down racial, ethnic, and social barriers. Sadly, there are still miles to travel, but allow the wise words of Dr. King to encourage you for the challenges ahead:
…We have…come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism (Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963).
Let’s celebrate this brilliant leader today!
National Archives. (n.d.). I Have A Dream speech. Retrieved January 19, 2013, from http://www.archives.gov/.
YouTube. (n.d.). Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream speech. [Video file]. Retrieved January 19, 2013 from, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdTpU5WZHHM.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published January 19, 2013 but has been updated to reflect comprehensiveness and accuracy.