I slept in this morning, and I’m using the day to catch up on long-postponed chores around the house. After all Martin Luther King Day is just another holiday, isn’t it? It’s just another chance to regroup, a day off that showed up a few years ago to honor someone who doesn’t mean much to us, especially to us white folks. At least, that’s what a lot of people seem to feel.
I’ll admit it. I am thrilled to have another day off, but this day means much more to me then I can put into words.
This day is about one person who faced impossible odds and had a ridiculous dream, or at least it seemed at the time, a dream that all people would one day be treated fairly. Odd isn’t it, that something as simple as neighborliness and being fair to each other both in our laws and in our daily interactions would be so revolutionary?
On this day, I honor Dr. King and all the people who worked with him then and continue to work on civil rights.
I honor those who are known to us and those who aren’t.
I honor the idea that no matter how long the odds… how ridiculously hard the situation…how loudly the so-called experts claim that laws and attitudes can’t be changed … no matter all of that... I honor the fact that Dr. King and thousands of ordinary people like you stepped up and did the work.
They didn’t let themselves be convinced that their cause was impossible. Because of them, laws and attitudes changed. Battles involving racism remain to be fought and won, but those wonderful, ordinary people who were just like you and me, made enormous progress.
In this time when the direction of our nation is frightening and issues involving justice and fairness seem impossible to move forward, Martin Luther King Day is particularly important. It reminds us that dreaming moves mountains and that speaking truth shatters walls.