Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday! We as a nation have set aside a day every year to reflect and celebrate his life and loving rage, which usually ends up being a three day weekend full of everything but! As I am about to spend the weekend with family and friends, I would like to meditate on King now, with you.
Dreams of Non-Violence…
If I learned anything from King by all that I’ve come in contact with surrounding his life, his writings, and speeches, it would be that he was a passionate freedom-fighter for justice, truth, and equality. He gave his freedom and his life to the struggle in efforts to set up a better future for our generation and generations to come! Dr. King faced MANY violences and threats of violence, but even in the face of all of that he practiced the type of life he was fighting for, a non-violent one rooted in freedom, justice, and equality. He died the way he lived, fighting for a better world. That keeps me living. THAT keeps the loving rage alive.
Another thing that sticks with me about King is his great kindness to others and his love that surpassed all of the hate trying to drown him. His willingness to go to jail, to give his life for all of those who have been slain, for those who don’t understand the movement, and for future generations to have opportunity leaves me humbled. I only hope that we all take a little time to reflect on the impact that he had and still has on our nation and our movement today! No, it wasn’t King alone during those times, he collaborated with MANY, as he knew that it is the collective force that breaks those ties of violence that bind us!
…In a Violent World
However, it does get difficult to try and live that non-violence in a world that you aren’t even considered a person. Sure, on paper you very well might be, but when you’ve seen the CONTINUED extermination of your people, your kindred, you begin to wonder how your non-violence is speaking to Power. When all the systems that structure our society are benefiting from your squalor, torture, and death, you might begin to think your non-violence is not working. But I am here to say it might not feel like it, but your persistent and collective acts to uncover our fundamentally flawed system of injustice is working! Your die-ins, your protests, your voice, your tears all are working! Your marches are working, your social media participation is working! There are many different ways to speak our collective truths to this corrupt Power. The struggle is REAL, and the movement needs ALL different types of action! Do not discount your participation, your acts might save lives!
Among many notable words that King has left with us, I hold on to these today,“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” This is at the base of why I do the things I do, study what I study, and commit myself to speak my truth to Power. Of all the slayings of our kindred in our culture that has been attended to and brought to light, that is only a shadow of what is happening to us! That is more than enough to keep me going, more than enough to keep me thinking.
I ask that you take these words with you and meditate on them, not only today, but when you need to call on the wisdom of our elders. I will leave you with King’s “Eulogy for the Young Victims.” Channel his loving rage, his passionate fight, and lets keep on keepin’ on!
Happy Birthday Weekend, Dr. King. Rest in Power.
Until Next Time,