If you were alive the day Martin Luther King was assassinated, do you remember where you were when you heard the news?
I remember that day clearly. I was a long way from home in Delhi, India where I was on a bus heading back to the University where I was an exchange student. The bus went past what must have been the headquarters for one of the newspapers and the news of King’s death was posted on a big sign out front.
I was devastated by the news as MLK was one of my heroes and I was sad for me, for his family and for our nation. My family lived in Chicago at the time, where I had been a supporter of the civil rights movement. I participated in demonstrations against discriminatory lending practices in the Chicago area housing industry and marched in downtown Chicago with my friends in support of a big protest against a system that put fewer resources into inner city schools. My father attended the March on Washington where King gave his famous I Had a Dream speech and heard it in person…..although I expect he was a long way away from the podium.
It’s tempting with martyrs like Martin Luther King to speculate about what he would have said and done if he were here today.
Even Larry Ward, a pro-gun activist has jumped in and suggested that King would have supported a recent national gun appreciation day. Considering King is best known for being non-violent that seems a little off the wall (well maybe more than just a little).
While it is interesting to spend time speculating about what King would have said none of us really know. We do have a choice, however….we can either focus on the past and what might have been or celebrate his life and what he was able to accomplish in a relatively short period of time; he was only 39 when he was killed. We can also be grateful for what he stood for and how his vision has continued to unfold over the years, magnified by his courage and by his untimely death.
If you have never heard Martin Luther King’s most famous speech, or want to hear it again here is a short version.
MLK is one of my heroes for many reasons, but a big one is that he had a bold and clear vision and the courage to act on it…
even when he knew he was putting his life on the line and even when it must have seemed like an impossible dream at the time. To get a little perspective on how things were back then, after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus, it took a full year before the rules changed allowing black people to sit anywhere they wanted to on public transportation in Montgomery, Alabama.
The kind of courage it took to persevere in the face of that kind of a challenge makes Martin Luther King a great role model. He was also a very eloquent speaker, able to articulate his ideas and appeal to many people.
In a previous post I shared my personal vision which is to motivate myself and others to have lives of greater health, joy and financial freedom. What is your vision and what are you doing to actualize it?
PS…If you have a serious commitment to health and wellness and a desire to help other people achieve better health join me in my vision. CLICK HERE for more information.