Ordinary people living extraordinary lives are making a difference. In this article, we look back at the incredible legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Today marks the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Born January 15, 1929, the civil rights activist dared to make a difference. He stood face-to-face against racial injustice. He went up against a system of unrighteous bigotry. He faced insurmountable odds. He challenged the views of supremacy and faced indifference of many kinds. He did what he believed was right and he made the difference.
Today people of all races honor Dr. King for his legacy and the principles he inspired. Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday commemorated as a day of service. This year it falls on Monday, January 21, 2013.
How can an ordinary person make a difference? By focusing on what they believe in and doing what is necessary to make that reality come true. When things get tough, they don’t give up. They are dedicated to the cause. They live by incredible faith.
We can learn from people such as Dr. King by recognizing what they did to make a difference in the world in which they lived.
Dr. Martin Luther King was a man of perseverance. He lived by his faith. During his day, did Dr. King realize he was making such a difference? Did he know then the impact he would have on today’s society?
In part of King’s speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” he said, “if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, "Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?" I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God's children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the Promised Land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn't stop there.”
These are the truths for impacting a society. He saw injustice and didn’t wait for someone else to handle it. He took up his cross for the battle and the battle was won. Today, we are not where we need to be, but we are better than we used to be.
In his 1964 acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King said, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”
Dr. King knew.
In his “mountaintop” speech he said, “It's all right to talk about "long white robes over yonder," in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here! It's all right to talk about "streets flowing with milk and honey," but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can't eat three square meals a day. It's all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God's preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.”
Today is the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 84th birthday. Today we remember what he accomplished in this life.
“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life,” Dr. King said. “Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!”
Dr. King fought the good fight. He was one that made a difference.