Monday, January 17, 2011

What Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Means To Me

Today is the day we as a nation celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.  For some of us that means we don't have to go to school or work.  For others it means we may attend a celebration or a rally or some other kind of celebration.  For all of us it means we should say a silent thank you to a man that forever changed this country, its attitudes and ultimate destiny.

I count Dr. King amongst one of my all-time heroes because he made possible what I am able to do today.  Because of him I never had to grow up looking at color and creed.  Because of him  as a small child I grew up being friends with "everyone" because he made it okay to do so.  Because of him and his dream I am living one of my own.

It may sound a bit corny but realize how far we've come as a nation in just a few short decades.  Of course we still have a long way to go to ultimately achieve what Dr. King saw as possible but we are making progress.  That progress comes in the form of Ripples that we take and create every single day for other people regardless of who they are, where they come from or what color their skin color might be.

Ripple On!!!


Artie Gold said...

Steve: I'm a little troubled by your piece today. Dr. King did not make it "okay" to be friends with everyone. It was always "okay". One never had to look at color and creed. It's just that people did (and sadly, still do).
Yes, there are parts of his dream that have come to pass with varying degrees -- but I would suspect that while he'd delight at some thing, he would overall be profoundly disappointed in our progress. His dream ran a lot deeper and was a lot more challenging than the well-chosen oft-quoted statements. Beyond the desire for racial justice, there was the call for economic justice as well (it was "Poor People's March on Washington"; neither color nor creed was in its title).

There are so many things in our society -- a society much wealthier than that of 1968 -- that we suddenly cannot seem to afford any more. The safety net -- made increasingly necessary by the winn-takes-all economy we've developed -- has eroded.
We have, indeed, moved forward in same ways. But, in so many ways, we've moved backwards.

Artie Gold said...

Let's try again with that last paragraph:

The safety net -- made increasingly necessary by the winner-takes-all economy we've developed -- has eroded.
We have, indeed, moved forward in some ways. But, in so many ways, we've moved backwards.

Anonymous said...

Artie how could you be troubled by Steve's piece? Clearly you missed the mark. It's what Dr. King means to HIM.

Though I agree we have a ways to go as a's people like Steve who stand as an example for us as to what can be as a society. His ripple idea is something that reminds us to look beyond titles, positions in society and yes, even color, and look into the hearts of the people we encounter. Dr. King did the same thing.


Sue Ann Rissel said...

I agree with Brad Artie, you missed the point.

Sue Ann

Artie Gold said...

The reason I am troubled is because Dr. King's message was much deeper and, frankly, much more challenging to our society. In many ways what we've achieved has been the easy stuff. As a society, we deal with individuals -- particularly those of our own "class" (quoted because it's a decidedly different notion than, say, the British conception of class); groups tend to be a different issue.
Don't mind me, I look at the breadth of what Dr. King said, and I don't find myself in a self-congratulatory mood (as a nation).

Also, Steve is a good guy; of that there is no doubt. There's no condemnation stated or intended. (Just to make that clear.)

Steve Harper aka Mr. Ripple said...

Hey I love the spirited debate and knowing Artie as I do I know his comment was not intended to be negative. I hear what you are saying Artie and as always appreciate your insight.

Brad thank you so much for your comment. I am just trying to live by example so I appreciate your acknowledgment of that!

Sue Ann - where have you been my friend? I miss hearing from you.

Ripple On You Guys and have an amazing and connected day!