Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr day here in the U.S. which is a problem for some of us. MLK was no saint in his personal life, there is no doubt about that, but his, sometimes, less than perfect actions should not interfere with his message of harmony and oneness.
Few of the great figures in American history, even world-wide history, have a flawless background; most of the founders of our nation were slave holders, many presidents have had relationships outside their marriages, revered leaders in industry ran rough-shod over the people around them, Monarchs from around the globe have lead lives which would confound our modern sensibilities, and yet their leadership had profoundly positive impacts on the world, so why should we stand in judgment of the man and discount Dr. Kings leadership of such an important time in our history?
MLK day is not simply an African American observance, although it sometimes seems to be just that. Others were involved in the changes in our nation during the 1960’s; many were Black, many were white, many came from backgrounds of all stripes. What Dr. King represents is an idea; the idea that no person should be discriminated against simply because of the color of their skin. As turbulent and decisive as those times were, what resulted was a recommitment to the American Ideals; that All Men Are Created Equal. We have not yet reached that vision, it is a work in progress. I can not think of a higher ideal, especially today.
Today perhaps you can take a moment to consider the power of those words from our Declaration of Independence: All Men (people) are Created Equal. Remember, to keep another person down requires someone to hold them down.