Monday, January 16, 2012

A Letter to Martin Luther King Jr

Dear Dr. King,

When I see an image of you, I get a strange feeling; A feeling that is most peculiar and unfamiliar. There is a trembling inside of me, a surge of nervous energy passes through me. I can't quite describe the feeling. It is respect mixed with reverence. I also feel mourning over the fact that you are long gone and there is no one to stand against the generation of oppressors that I am now living in. I wish there were more men and women like you in this world.

Simply looking upon your face evokes a feeling of empowerment. I'm not speaking of the type of empowerment that lifts a man above God and other men in his own mind. I'm talking about the kind of empowerment that one feels when he is in the center of God's will and in unity with God's other creatures. You, sir, were a diamond in the ruff of society. Every man should look to your example if he's interested in learning what it is that God expects of men, just as you looked at Christ to learn from His example.

Like your namesake, Martin Luther, who nailed his grievances to the door of society's powerhouse of his day, taking a stand and leading men on a mission to find truth, you nailed your grievances to the front door of the facade of a free society and led this nation out of the dark and barren land of hatred and injustice, toward the promised land of social justice and equality for all.

Sometimes, I think of how great it would have been if YOU had been our nation's first African American president, but, you, my hero, were not a politician. You were too real. The presidency would have never withstood such a man, with an absence of malice in his soul.

I often read your words and am amazed. I often long to here your voice when I'm feeling defeated. I find sound clips on the internet of your "I Have a Dream" speech or "Letter From the Birmingham Jail" and I close my eyes and listen to your voice, so powerful, filled with love and conviction. I try to imagine what it would have been like to know you, to have been your friend. Sometimes, I pretend that you are my father, after all, you were like a father to the oppressed. You adopted us all, took us under your wing. You cleaned the dirt from our faces and taught us how to stand straight and tall in the midst of adversity, how to walk in peace with the whole world is hungry for our suffering, how to march for what is right in a blind and hedonistic society. You gently wiped away the scars of victimization and placed over us a banner, proclaiming 'We Will Overcome!' Your powerful voice drowned out the other voices in our heads that told us that we would never be free.

All the things that you fought against have not been completely eradicated from our society. They still linger in the shadows around certain people groups that are a part of American society---undocumented immigrants and the poor come to my mind.

Thank you for opening our nations eyes, giving hope to the oppressed, and ultimately dying in order to do so. I pray that all oppressed people learn to be courageous as you were and that, one day, we will have a nation that fully realizes and lives in the reality of your dream! May you words continue to be the arrows that pierce the hearts of the apathetic!

A Modern Day Sister for Justice and Equality,


Some of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes:

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

“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.” 

“Love is the only force capable of transforming
an enemy into a friend.”

All men are interdependent. Every nation is an heir of a vast treasure of ideas and labor to which both the living and the dead of all nations have contributed.... We are everlasting debtors to known and unknown men and women....

If an American is concerned only about his nation, he will not be concerned about the peoples of Asia, Africa, or South America. Is this not why nations engage in the madness of war without the slightest sense of penitence? Is this not why the murder of a citizen of your own nation is a crime, but the murder of citizens of another nation in war is an act of heroic virtue?

One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly ... and with a willingness to accept the penalty.

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.

"As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people in this world cannot expect to live more than twenty-eight or thirty years, I can never be totally healthy, even if I just got a good checkup at the Mayo Clinic. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made. No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are all interdependent." - Martin Luther King

“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.” 

"Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody.
Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideals hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different." 

“At times we may feel that we do not need God, but on the day when the storms of disappointment rage, the winds of disaster blow and the tidal waves of grief beat against our lives, if we do not have a deep and patient faith our emotional lives will be ripped to shreds.  There is so much frustration in the world because we have relied on gods rather than God.”

“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

No comments:

Post a Comment