Monday, January 17, 2005

To Harness an Inner Power

There are so many battles I could fight tonight...from inhuman insurance companies who seek only to make an extra dime off of the penny-less, to a song I heard today saying "thank God for the teachers of our children, so the garden can grow," but instead of fighting I will civilly comment on the day and a conversation I overheard as I was wandering through Albertsons this evening.

It's Martin Luther King Day, often a day we spend arguing over who has to go to school, who gets to stay home, who has to work, or whether or not its a federal holiday. Or as some self-absorbed and ignorant man stated today, "It's nothing--just another day. The Civil Rights Movement is over." No! Excuse me for a moment, but I need to get on my soapbox...

Yes, I realize that it has been many years from the day of marches and "I Have a Dream," but this country has not progressed beyond addressing racism in all forms. As a society we would like to say we have made great progress since the days of Jim Crow segregation, the marches, and Brown v. the Board of Education, but in all reality, our progression is slow going when individual racism in this country is still very strong and visible.

If Dr. King taught us nothing else, I hope he taught each of us that we have an individual power inside of us that can lead us and lead many through great conflict and into great triumph. The Civil Rights Movement is over, but the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement need remembering today. We must remember that violence is not the answer when seeking great change. We must remember that each individual has the power within to accomplish great change. The movement is over, the lessons are certainly not. The movement reminds us that to harness an inner power for the good of humanity is progress, accomplishment, and the true goal of living.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on a hotel balcony April 4th, 1968 in Memphis by a young white man so engulfed in his own racism and hate that he couldn't possibly understand the notion that all mankind, men and women, black and white, rich and poor, have that inner power to accomplish positive change. King once said that "a man who won't die for something is not fit to live." He died for the dream, the dream did not die with him. I hope we've learned that because James Earl Ray could not.

Do not tell me it is just another day.

No comments :