Lessons from the Past, Ringing in the New

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MLK marchingThe ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on where we have been and where we are heading. I find it fitting that the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and work arrives at the start of the year. Pioneers such as MLK, inspire me to ask myself, what do I want? Where am I going? And then MLK Day comes and presents the question, “What do I stand for?” MLK and the leaders of that time were able to accomplish something that we seldom see today; they organized hundreds of thousands of people across the nation from all walks of life, all religions, and all ages, to form a bond under a single principle that was unified through a commitment to peace. Unfortunately, violence against humanity has continued to persist. But, The Civil Rights Movement was so powerful because just about everyone could get behind the call to stand for humanity. In 1963, Dr. King and his comrades helped to bring 100,000 people together in Washington, D.C. where he delivered one of the most memorable speeches in history. Twenty-nine years later, King’s words still ring true and yet, there is still much work to do. Everyday, with each decision, we have the capacity to move the needle of the world, towards peace. It’s in a smile directed toward a stranger, exercising greater patience with our loved ones, and with deepening the love we experience within ourselves. Just as King had a dream, and worked tirelessly to make it so, we too can do the same.

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