Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and this is one of my favorite MLK quotes, "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
Have you ever noticed how much fear, envy, anger and bitterness just weigh you down when you are going through those emotions? After a day contemplating this quote, I just had an epiphany replying back to my dad in an e-mail discussing my fear about this new blog. He advised me to write for me, and I responded how scary a prospect that was to me. Then it hit me what a gift that was for him to say that to me ~ to give me permission to just be me/do it for me.
How often do we give that to someone? Do _____ for yourself. This may sound silly to you, but I am suddenly seeing those as powerful words. I love you. I support you. Now go do this for you. I believe in you. All of those positive affirmations were wrapped in a nice brown package with a big red bow and delivered to me tonight via e-mail by saying, "Don't write for others; just for you." Wow! I suddenly need to make a Skype call :).
I believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. knew better than most what it meant to stick with love even in the face of fear and evil. I also believe he clearly understood the tremendous difficulty in remaining focused on love when there is hate all around you, not to mention directed at you. I don't know how he did it. I don't know how other men and women just like him did it and continue to do it every day. Whether it is for your religous beliefs, your political beliefs, your beliefs in how your business should be run, or the hundreds of other ways people stand up and let their voices be heard even in the face of great opposition. I find that inspiring. It is also humbling...because they speak for all of us that can speak for ourselves but don't, and for the many more that cannot speak for themselves. What a gift.
One of my favorite all-time quotable, wonderful films is The American President. There are many great lines in the film, but one of my favorite stretches of dialogue is when the President walks in unexpectedly to a press briefing and gives an impromptu speech...."America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free".
America isn't easy. I have friends of all religions, political affiliations, beliefs, but you know one thing that is true about all of them?? They have hearts full of love; they love their families and their friends. They are smart, funny and true in their convictions. The Pollyanna line to follow that would naturally be, "Lets focus on the love in each other." Well, I am naive but not that naive. My more realistic dream is can we just try not to focus on the hate. Not on the hate, the petty, the snipets. Allow me a digression here...if it is not okay to read the verse of a book or the Bible (shall we say) without reading the entire chapter or book so you can understand context....Why is it okay for us to do soundbites of people's speeches, interviews, etc. and build a whole "theory" around it?? Sorry, but that is not just annoying...it is incredulous. My point is that maybe it is time for all of us (self included) to decide that "hate is just too great a burden to bear".
I wish for you a lot of love on this day of remembrance.
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)
Labels: Dad, Jr. Day, Martin Luther King, MLK, The American President