Monday, January 18, 2010

Shed a Little Light by James Taylor

“Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King. . . ”



Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. is honoring his beliefs, his methods and his dream. It is saying that we continue to believe that all men are created equal, that violence an inferior way of promoting change and that a world where our children are not judged by the color of their skin but rather the content of their character is worth believing in.

With this day we say that we admire best among us not because of economic success or physical prowess but rather because of service to society. And in honoring Martin Luther King Jr. is believing as James Taylor sings, “we are bound together in our desire to see the world become a place that our children can grow free and strong.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is affirmation; it’s a statement of values, a declaration of what it means to be American. This day reminds me that deep in our hearts, we want something better and we are all working together for a common dream.

This day is also a reminder of the nature of change. No great steps in freedom have come about organically. Everything from gaining the right to vote for women and minorities to desegregating schools have come about through the work of tenacious and dedicated citizens who refused to accept the status quo. If there is something in this country that you think is unfair and unjust then you need to do something about it, because if you don’t the worst thing of all will happen:

Nothing

Martin Luther King Jr. Day’s most important message is that we still have a lot of work to do. As James Taylor sings, “We are bound together by the task that stands before us.” There is still discrimination in America. My personal belief is that the battle over same-sex marriage is a Civil Rights issues and if you disagree, I respect your opinion. Beyond this one issue, there are gross inequalities in people’s access to education, jobs and housing throughout America. While I respect individual’s rights to bigoted, the shocking amount of ignorance and stereotyping in our America is a reminder that the Civil Rights act is meaningless if we do not enforce in our every day actions.

“Shed A Little Light” by James Taylor is how I like to think about Martin Luther King Jr. Day. While it reminds us of who we are, the beliefs that bind us and the tasks ahead it is also a celebration of how far we’ve come in such a short period of time in our great country. Yes, “there is a feeling like the clenching of a fist” but there is also the light that washes over “the darkness and the mist, and though the body sleeps the heart will never rest.”

When I turn my thoughts today to Martin Luther King, I feel proud that we value this great man, that we believe in his dream and that we are bound together in hope and love.

1 comment:

  1. A Declaration worth signing, showing we are bound together in hope and love:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/20/us/politics/20alliance.html?_r=2

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