Act today in the spirit of the past
April 4 marked 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, an event surrounded by a turbulent time in America that seems like a distant memory. All will remember the significance of the event, but few will continue to embody the spirit of change that created his legacy.
We always think about what we would have done if we were alive in the past, but that is easy to say because we are living now and don’t have to face those issues anymore. Many fail to recognize that there are issues just as important today, that aren’t as visible to us as they will be in future decades. What you are doing right now is what you would have done in the past, so reminiscing isn’t enough. Any action that seeks a better, safer world today is just as necessary as it was in 1968.
There are many political issues where right or wrong is not so clear, but issues of morality couldn’t be more apparent. When it’s a matter of life versus death, it seems obvious that it shouldn’t be politicized, yet the denying of basic human rights to minority groups was once a political issue.
The answer isn’t to ignore politics, but to find the right politics. Don’t be turned off from pressing moral issues just because they involve debate and legislation. The American Constitution wrote slaves off as 3/5 of people, and that changed. Anything is possible and we can’t continue to live as if things are just the way they are.
Every time in history is just as meaningful as the next, we just have to examine the right questions in order to find the solutions. Find something worthy of change, in the spirit of MLK, because it is there. If your heart isn’t breaking at the world today, you probably aren’t paying close enough attention.
Carmel, New York