My birth year is 1968. So much happened in the world at that time...including the attempt to silence the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an assassin's bullet. Today would have been King's 80th birthday and who knows what the world would have been, what he would have become, had he remained in this realm with us. But, as it happened, the legacy and the power of his actions and words are like the light that pierces through darkness. No, Dr. King did not get to see the election of the first African-American president. But Dr. King's efforts did help to bring mountains low, and make straight the pathways for us to get to where we are now. Much work remains to be done to free all of us. So, as a reminder of that, here are just a few quotations from MLK, Jr.:
"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
" Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority."
"Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority."
"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."
May we learn from these words, and move ever closer to the promised land that was part of his dream.