“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.
Our nation celebrated the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, and it’s our sincere hope that people appreciate the significance of both the man and his actions. In a time of great turmoil and unrest in this nation, King preached peace and tolerance. In a period of social and racial divide, King spoke of unity. He was a voice among many, but one whose words moved a society.
We find ourselves in intriguing times today. The economy has put a hurt on many people and businesses across the globe, partisan politics have both stalemated progress in Washington and split the people of this nation, and our troops continue their efforts to provide peace and democracy in the Middle East. History will tell us that we elected our first minority president, and that we’ve progressed so much, but it hardly feels like complete harmony has been achieved around us.
But we do grow.
King publicly envisioned a nation where opportunities presented themselves to all who chose to accept them, and we’re certainly seeing that today. We are far from perfect. Stereotypes, racism and blind hatred continue to haunt our collective soul, but the people who participate in those practices are fewer than at any other time in our history.
It’s about taking the important steps to get where we want and need to be as a society. And it’s critical we take those steps together.
King was a fighter. A man of faith. A person of conviction. But he did his battles with words and peaceful demonstrations, rather than partake in confrontational or violent practices. He embraced his right to free speech by freely expressing his vision for a better world.
He is the embodiment of America — the underdog who rallied people with his spirit and dedicated his life to improving the lives of others.
We remember Martin Luther King Jr. with awe and pride. He was one of us. And he was all of us.