I got to sleep in this morning. Our company takes Martin Luther King Jr. as a holiday. I cannot simply just mentally check out for the day, I have to remember why I have the day off. Not only that, I have an obligation to my children to explain to them why daddy gets the day off. So, this morning we took a half hour remembering Dr. King.
I have five kids, ages two through nine, so it wasn’t easy. For them to really understand, I walked them through how Christopher Columbus came over, and how many Europeans followed him (eventually including my Irish ancestors), then we forced the natives off their land for our benefit. Soon after that, we found that there were people in Africa that we could buy or steal, bring them here, and force them to work for us. Many were treated worse than animals, and were bought sold, and disposed of like property.
Eventually some leaders in our country realized this was horrible, and that our founding fathers new that God created us equally, so we should treat all people that way, so we had a war. After the Civil War, the slaves were free to own property, and work for themselves, but in many ways were still treated as less than human.
They had to use different bathrooms, restaurants, and transportation. They were not allowed to have a voice in Washington DC, because they were not allowed to vote. There were many people who started to take a public stand against this treatment, including Dr. King. He took a stand, and as a minister, tried to remind people that God made us all, and we are to look at the heart of a man, and not the color of his skin.
For this, he was shot and killed: for the love and passion of a dream. He is an example to us. No, a hero. He is a beacon to show us that no matter how dark our world may seem, that one man, yes, only one, can make a difference. One can change the course of a nation, or the world, and that one could be you or me.
Also, this is a day where we can examine our own hearts. Are we treating others as we ought to? No matter their skin color, ethnicity, or religious grouping? Are we loving them as God has called us? Even to the point of laying down our pride and selfish ambitions and putting them before us? I know I still have work to do.
With that, here are a couple of videos we watched today about Dr. King. Please watch them and remember, so we don’t walk down this road again.
Follow this Link to the History Channel’s video:
Here is the “I have a Dream” speech in its entirety: