Before I get into my blog post about Dr. Martin (Michael) Luther King Jr., I'd like to acknowledge the countless others who were a vital part of the advancement of civil rights. Ruby Bridges, Dredd Scott, and James Meredith are just a few notable names who made contributions in the fight for equality.
To prepare for this blog, I reread and listened to a few of Dr. King's speeches. The sound of his voice alone evokes emotions and I can’t help but to think, if that afternoon on April 4, 1968 hadn't happened and an 84 year-old Dr. King was still with us today, how different would my life be? Once I really understood what the Civil Rights Movement was and the impact it had on my parents, I made the choice to never accept intentional mistreatment. Back then, they didn't have (or at least didn't perceive to have) a choice. I do.
Fast forward to our present day. There's an on-going argument as to whether his Dream has come to pass or not. I'll keep my opinion on that to myself. What I will speak on is how selfless he was. I shudder to think of how different things could be if he had been a selfish man. I remember when the slogan, “ Not a day off, but a day on” became popular. Everyday, Dr. King was on. Everyday, not only on his birthday, but EVERYDAY, he got up and made choices, knowing that there were people whose sole purpose were to make his wife a widow and his children orphans.
Unfortunately, one Spring afternoon in 1968, someone succeeded at that cowardly aim. Though I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. King,; I ( along with my college sorority sisters) had the honor of briefly meeting his gracious wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King. In her speech, she charged us to be ashamed to die before we had done something for humanity. Those words have played over and over in my head for the last ten years.
I used to ask myself, “What can I do?” Finally, I realized that - while I was thinking of this master plan - there is plenty that needs doing now. I am still working on my master plan, but in the meantime, I donate my time, talent, and treasure as much as I can. If I see a need and if I have the resource to address it, I do. If I don't have the resources, I find someone who does. If I can't find someone, I find someone who knows someone who DOES have or can create the resource.