I wasn’t even a year old when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Therefore, I cannot fully understand the impact he made at the time on the civil rights movement. I have heard speeches, I have seen clips, but I did not live it; I was not there.
I have spent a bit of time learning about Martin Luther King Jr, and the more I know, the sadder I am that he was stricken down so young. He accomplished so much in 39 years, and during a very tenuous time for racial relations. Can you imagine the change he may have been able to make had he lived another 39 years or more?
To honor Martin Luther King, I would like to share a couple quotes that I found very interesting:
“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”
I do not know the exact date these words were spoken, but even if it was the year he died, it is still a quote from over forty years ago, and the words apply to just about every aspect of life. Every single day, I see people looking to take the easy way out, or relying on others to get them out of a situation they created. It is also very common to see people react to other people or situation based on information they were told or maybe read. There is so much ignorance out there in the world, and it is willing ignorance. If someone started with a clean slate, without any preconceived notions or impressions, would they really still think that any race is better than any other? If you think about it, little kids don’t care about who they play with. It isn’t until parents (and others) teach kids to judge others based on skin color or economic status that people start to exclude others, often based on prejudice. If teens/grown ups could just think for themselves, instead of being poisoned by the views of others, they might realize that skin color, gender, economic status, etc does not matter. We are all human. This leads me to another quote I like:
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
I just love those 15 words. Outside of your siblings, nobody has the same exact background as you. Not one of us had any control over our circumstances or where we were born in this life. You get what you get. You are inherently no more special if your parents arrived first class from Europe a hundred years ago than someone whose grandfather maybe stowed away on a ship to escape tyranny in their country. Regardless, we all have 26 chromosomes. We are all here together now, and the past should not matter. We should work together to make the world the best we can today. No excuses, just action.
Do you have a favorite quote from Martin Luther King Jr? Do you remember any of his speeches when they were actually given?