“Whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent”
We set aside today to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. We are lucky to live in a world where his practice of non-violent protest helped provide non-white Americans essential rights and greater opportunity. However, it is apparent to all of us that we have yet so far to go. Things are undeniably better than they once were, but they are far from perfect. Where once men were beaten down physically, King offered them guidance and action to raise them emotionally. He said the above quote – and the title – and I think that both apply now and forever. We can always do better in creating a greater society, and in order to do so, we must remember that we cannot delay working to improve our world, and that we must not allow ourselves to submit to those who would make this world only better for themselves.
I love my country. I love the wonderful contributions that the United States of America has offered the world over its relatively brief existence. I cringe at the mistakes that have been made in my country’s past; worse among them being the forced servitude of men, women, and children for use as laborers to benefit their so-called “masters” who held themselves as greater men from a greater race. Yet in America’s darkest time, many men and women, great and unremarkable, remembered and forgotten, sought to change this and in the process completed America’s greatest course-correct.
Since that time, we have not been steering completely straight along the proper course – in fact, some people have fought to falter us. Too many would rather sink the ship than share it with others who have been oppressed too painfully for too long, but we cannot allow them to ruin the journey toward harmony. Nor can we treat them as they seek to treat those they despise, but rather seek to determine why they do so and teach them about how these people they scorn are people like they are. Character and action determine a person’s greatness or dreadfulness, not anything physical or genetic. It is only by sharing love that we will overcome hate, and by educating that we will overcome ignorance. Let’s work together to be the best we can be. It doesn’t matter where we come from; only where we’re going.
Thanks for reading,