MLK: Daring People To Improve Things
In times of difficulty and despair, when a cloud hangs over a nation and its citizens cling to one another, it’s easy to recall Martin Luther King Jr.’s sagacious words: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” When the world appears to be teetering on the edge of destruction, MLK’s words linger as poignant reminders of all the good that still exists. It is necessary for the heart and wellbeing of our nation to reflect on MLK’s legacy, and not just to consider the celebration an excuse to sleep in late; MLK Day provides the opportunity to give thanks to a man whose sacrifices and love for humanity outshine the bitterness that continues to plague our world today.
MLK’s venerated “I Have a Dream” speech — the most well known and consequential public address of the twentieth century — gave voices to the people who had gone unheard. He resisted the status quo and challenged the pernicious policies that deemed African Americans ‘second-class citizens.’ Without MLK’s bravery, America as we know it would be a country overwrought with injustice and destruction. The leader of the Civil Rights Movement brought the United States out from under the grasps of a dark cloud, and gave meaning to over a century’s worth of struggle.
At the core of Dr. King’s convictions were a deep-seated love for his country and belief in the pillars of American democracy — the unyielding notion that America could rise to greatness with the unification of its citizens and the elimination of discrimination of any kind. Today, we still go to war with prejudices and bigotry, racism and discrimination. We continue to battle inequality and struggle to live in a world where justice always prevails. Dr. King envisioned a world where we defended morality and made sacrifices for the sake of humanity. We have come a long way, but we must strive for better, remembering that “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”