“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream”. By Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.
I have been watchful over the past couple of decades just how many of our country’s leaders publicly associate themselves with the principles and teachings of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. primarily during Dr. King’s holiday. Other times, there appears to be a disconnect or failure by leaders to follow Dr. King’s principles. And, being good followers, the disconnect and failure is extended to the rest of us.
I freely admit that I was completely sold on Dr. King’s message eloquently delivered in August 1963. For more than 50 years I have worked to internalize Dr. King’s call for us to be better humans. I devoted my life to the principle of “judgement of others on the content of character”.
Equally important to me are the less publicized words of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech which said, “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”
Dr. King is honored each year on this day for living and dying for these principles. Unfortunately, it seems to me now it has become more of an obligation to celebrate and honor his work. It seems difficult to honor Dr. King if as a nation we subscribe to a very different set of principles?
Our nation has no shortage of “bitterness and hatred” shared daily in all forms of communication, social media, news outlets, protests/riots and the rest. I see us more segregated with the use of all forms of hyphens, sub-titles, and sub-groups. We use very large brushes to paint our family, friends, and neighbors whatever color fits as a symbol of our fierce disagreement and distrust of one another.
And, after 50 years plus since the memorable speech, we now preach, tolerate, or engage in physical violence and force…not “soul force”. But, we will pause long enough to honor Dr. King. Was this Dr. King’s dream?
I still believe in Dr. King’s principles. These principles have served me well throughout my life as I have tried to meet everyone on life’s level and square, fairly and respectfully. I hope these practiced principles have even been a factor in the relationships I have gained and enjoyed with “Friends of Copey”.
“What Would Martin Say?” is still a question worth asking today. I invite you to read my Post dated January 20, 2020. https://friendsofcopey.com/2020/01/20/dr-martin-l-king-jr-2/
Following my Post last week, I discovered with help from Bob Barnard in Jaco, that Costa Rica plans to re-open the public schools. This was subsequently verified by Catalina Cortes, Copey Learning Center Board member.
This is great news but this also presents the problem of having a facility available for gathering students.
More information about this is forthcoming as we move through the next few weeks. I will announce our official plans to initiate our fund drives to support the scholarship and operation of the Copey Learning Center in the next couple weeks.
5 thoughts on “Content of Character”
Great post, Scrapper. And Happy Martin Luther King Day! We need his message of love over hate now more than ever. I love his words about “the high plane of dignity and discipline.”
And It is great news that schools in Costa Rica are reopening. The children really need to be in school as soon as possible, as soon as the health situation is safe,
Thank you, Scrapper
You are a person who has proved time and time again to embody his principles. Take care of yourself and feed your soul because it resonants to those around you in such a positive way. Happy belated Martin day, thanks for the reflection.
Cynthia said it best, Scrapper, and you have proven time and time again that you take Dr. King’s principles seriously. We should embrace his words more often, and on that note, I hope everyone will have an opportunity to hear Amanda Gordon’s poem, “The Hill We Climb,” as her words remind me very much of Dr. King’s words. Thank you, Scrapper, for reminding us of of so many important details in life.
So true- thanks, Scrapper.