It is a wonderful way to begin a year to celebrate Dr. King remembrance day early in January. This
year is no exception and candidly has stood out to me as a needed break amidst a crazy barrage of headlines and unbelievable quotes from our president. It’s in this context that I share a few reflections on this day and this inspiration from and amazing leader of our country’s history.
As many of you have seen in previous essays, I have been very influenced by a number of Dr. King’s writings and speeches, probably none more so that his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech from December 1964. I was only three at the time, the words and ideals that he shared that day have resonated across my life and especially his reference to the “isness and oughtness” of humanity. I strongly encourage you to read it in its entirety at http://ift.tt/2e9oXFE
One treat of flying in and out of the airport in Atlanta is the exhibit in concourse E that has a few items from Dr. King’s life, and includes a copy of his Nobel Peace Prize medal and the photo above. While I have stopped by many times, I had never really read the caption of the photo before today and I was struck by the quote that was highlighted from his speech, ” I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war … that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.” Powerful words in 1964 that resonate deeply true today in 2018!
This inspirational and uplifting stop on a day honoring Dr. King was and is deeply needed in the “starless midnight” of today’s political dynamics. Hate, racism, divisiveness seem to be winning the day, while peace, love, and non-violence seem almost forgotten in the national discord. Let us all remember another admonition of Dr. King’s, when he said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” As you face the current political and civil landscape in our country, I hope that we all can focus on the “light” and the “love” of Dr. King’s message. The world desperately needs more of both, and dramatically less of “darkness” and “hate” and the “starless midnight of racism and war.”
Thank you Dr, King for your life, your sacrifice and your inspiring messages for all of us here in 2018!