As this is a good day, honoring a good man, Martin Luther King, Jr., I thought it a good time to share some thoughts. As a child, having moved several times with the family, I got to experience my share of bullying, and yes, some racism. However, it wasn’t until years later that I understood what racism was, at the time only thinking there were mean people and that was a part of growing up.
Years later, moreso when I became a teacher, I watched more documentaries on Mr. King, read more books on his life, and read many of the speeches he shared with crowds. What messages! What presence! And to continue talking, even when he realized his life might be on the line, knowing that what he was doing was very important, what an example of character. I cannot wish more that I had been able to meet him, even listen to his words from the crowd. I think that would have been an experience never to be forgotten or lessened.
People are people. Some have more skills in some areas than others. Some have more abilities than others. But we are all people. We are all brothers and sisters. It’s why we feel guilt, whether we realize it or not, when we “hate” someone or treat others with disrespect. It’s because we are all human, we have the same insides, and we have the same opportunity to do what is right and what is wrong (Though, I do believe some are born more inclined one way or the other, and this is where parenting becomes very important.). It’s like, when you harm another, you are in truth harming yourself. And that’s where character enters the equation.
To me, it’s sad that his message has been so distorted. What he believed and spoke about I have rarely seen fully detailed in textbooks. What we see on television is not nearly enough to spread his messages. And what too many politicians are doing is playing the race card rather than encouraging each other to treat each other fairly. Or as it was said long ago, treat others as you would wish to be treated.
Today, I want to thank Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. for what he did and shared, and I hope more and more people hear and read, understand truly, the message from his heart.