Last August, we posted about “Quotes to Keep Current Events in Perspective.” With one of the quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. Today, as we honor Dr. King, we must keep in mind the lessons for 2021 from Martin Luther King Jr. Even though, the words are from 1963, they resonate even more on January 18, 2021. We must heal, not divide.
Hopeful Lessons for 2021 from Martin Luther King Jr.
On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, we inaugurate a new president. As we do so, please reflect on these hopeful thoughts. They are excerpted from Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Our source is the King Institute at Stanford University:
But, there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: in the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people. For many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
I say to you today, my friends. Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day,
- this nation will rise up. And live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
- on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
- even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
- my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
- down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification,” one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
- every valley shall be exalted. Every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be made plain. And the crooked places will be made straight. Then, the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
One More Thought from Dr. King