Dr. Martin Luther King

Today is set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unfortunately, few people really know much about Dr. King.

He made a difference—the beginning of change, but change is a process, and the change he inspired is continuing, but nowhere near complete. The change process feels agonizingly slow and many grow frustrated.

Unfortunately, real change—especially important change—takes time. Healthy babies take about nine months. Evolution takes eons. Only television programs provide almost instantaneous answers—not reality.

Like a garden, change will grow at its own pace regardless of our need or desires. No farmer, no megacorporate farming conglomerate, no Nobel winning scientist can shorten the growing season. Plant in the spring, fertilize, irrigate, hope, and pray; if everything is right, you will harvest in the fall, when the crop is ripe. You cannot harvest any earlier.

Dr. King cleared and plowed the field. He was a major contributor to the planting. The crop is growing. We don’t know when the harvest will occur, but we must tend the garden to ensure that the change will grow and eventually yield the results that he hoped for.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a mythical, perfect being. He was a human being with flaws—just like you and me. Nevertheless, in the face of challenges, hatred, bigotry, violence, his own human nature, and eventually his assassination, he pressed on and made a difference. He had a dream, and he tried to make that dream a reality.

How many of us are willing to do the same? Take time to learn from Dr. King.


One response to “Dr. Martin Luther King

  1. Thank you, Steve, for writing about the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.–and you’re correct that he is to be honored as a great American not only for blacks but for all o us. He OPENED us all to the emergent. I personally met Dr. King on the UCLA campus in 1968. Unfortunately I was only 14 years old, and so dumb, so naïve, so closed-minded, and so angry with him. I went up to Dr. King and brashly asked why he was causing so much unrest in our country?

    Dr. King immediately recognized my youthful stupidity and naiveté–perhaps not to embarrass me–and spoke to me about how universal human right is an INSIDE JOB via natural rights from God and legal rights via America’s Constitution, yet outside forces sometimes do not allow us to look inwardly.
    It’s when we realize that life gives us everything right—that we know we’ve been wrong all along. And, the only way to make things right is to admit we have been wrong.

    And since he learned from me that I would be entering medical school, he spoke to how numbers can “figure” life out, but only words can “elaborate on the solution” of living. Within the context of “care,” sometimes numbers are mystical, not only mathematical. For example, he said he was often criticized for the “insignificant scale” of work he undertook in the face of great need. It’s statistically true what he achieved was little or even negligible. But then Christianity is not a statistical view of life. Christianity is an anti-statistical proposition. Welfare is for a purpose—an admirable and necessary one–whereas Christian love is for a person. The one is about numbers, the other is about a man who was also God.

    And, ultimately, Dr. King talked about OUR journey–to focus on building healthy and strong relationships with one another, enhancing unity and a shared common American culture–with a thoughtful vision of prosperity —to include a prosperity of decency and goodness; financial freedom; freedom from anger, fear and guilt; health and energy; personal and professional fulfillment; and worthy goals and ideals; and faith, love and hope.

    Now, Steve, here’s how impressed and how dumb I was. I wrote a letter to Pope John Paul at the Vatican and recommended that Dr. King be Sainted.
    Unfortunately, Dr. King is not Catholic.

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