Another year has come and gone. Here in January 2022, as we celebrate the legacy of my uncle, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and also are reminded of the sanctity of life, the theme of human kindness and a regard for human dignity comes to mind.
Meanwhile, with looming threats of violence and racial unrest, fear and strife are knocking at the door. I believe if MLK were here today, he would remind us:
“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
So many people are angry, hurt and confused, especially with the devastation of the COVID pandemic casting a dark shadow. There have been far too many losses.
I believe if MLK were here today, he would encourage us to hold onto hope, fear not, have faith in God, and choose human kindness and love over hate.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase,” he said. “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope. Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
MLK also once said, “We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or perish together as fools.”
This theme of togetherness suits MLK’s dream, hope and prayers for human dignity and the sanctity of life.
When I was a little girl raised in a family of Baptist preachers, my father Rev. A.D. Williams King, my grandfather Daddy King, and my uncle would read the Bible and preach and teach the lessons that MLK would one day grow famous for delivering. His sermons on unity, faith, hope and live still resonate today.
If he were here today, MLK would likely encourage us to answer the threat of racism with the truth that there are no separate human races; there is only one critical human race, regardless of skin color or social conditions.
“He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.'” (Acts 17: 26-28)
Also, MLK embraced the American Dream – for everyone:
“I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men [human beings] are created equal.'”
Moving ahead, perhaps a good way to remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to agree to regard and protect human life from the womb to the tomb; and to love, forgive and live with each other together as brothers and sisters, and not perish together as fools.