The third Monday of January is always Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year it will be observed on this coming Monday, the 15th. On days such as this, I always take the opportunity to reflect inwardly and outwardly. After all, Socrates famously stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I take that to heart. This holiday is a reminder to examine the life we live together as a nation.
According to Coretta Scott King, this is a day to celebrate a man who brought hope and healing to America. I think we need to ponder that core sentiment now more than ever. Social justice, equality, and historic reforms bent on achieving that end were just a few of the dreams that King proposed during his short, but impactful life.
It is truly amazing that so many years later we are still fighting that good fight on many levels. The freedom to be who you are and be protected by rights specifically reinforced by our government is what I think makes America great. However, we need to continue to stand up for those rights over and over again.
This country hasn’t always stood up for everyone equally. But the great thing about the USA is that we endeavor to do so. In this regard, the past isn’t always a great example of how to behave–sometimes it’s merely a record of where we’ve been. Overall, I think King would be amazed at the progress we have made. If this holiday is to reflect and specifically work in the service of the public, I hope my thoughts have provided food for thought.
In the spirit of the holiday, my determination is to avoid taking news (real or otherwise) as the guide for how to act towards others. I know in my heart what is right and wrong.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — Martin Luther King Jr.