Happy Birthday Martin

He would have been 81 today.

Since my childhood, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., born this day in 1929, has been a hero of mine. He has been an example, one I have not always successfully followed, in how to use the power of nonviolence to manage the forces of bigotry, hatred, evil and injustice.

While Dr. King left this world far too soon in 1968, his method of protest and his example of physical, emotional and spiritual courage will live on as long as the human race lives on. If the human race fails to learn the lessons he taught us, and fails to apply those lessons to the care of mother earth, the human race will do anything but live on.

I remember hearing an exchange Dr. King had with some young black activists who were debating the value of non-violence with him. Dr. King said the following. “Nonviolence is like water. If you have a fire and you throw a bucket of water on it and it doesn’t go out, it doesn’t mean water doesn’t put out fire. It means you need more water.”

He’s right.

It seems to me the same equation applies to the importance of keeping our voices raised in the disability civil rights struggle or the gay civil rights struggle and so on. If our voices are not creating change, it doesn’t mean the voices of the people don’t create change, it means we need more voices.

Happy Birthday, Martin. You are missed and loved by more people than you could have ever imagined.



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