A man can't ride your back unless it's bent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who taught the world a great many important lessons.
It is a dangerous thing to speak the truth. When you speak the truth you expose the liars, and the liars don't like that. They will try to shut you up one way or another. Even if it's with a bullet.
It's a dangerous thing to speak wisdom. When you speak wisdom you expose the ignorant, and the ignorant don't like that. They would prefer not to listen to you, that's what makes them ignorant. They will dismiss you with stupid remarks like "Whatever" and "Suit yourself."
King faced a lot of liars and a lot of ignorance in his life. But one of the great lessons he taught us, and me in particular, was to stand up straight and strong and never quit.
He was also the champion of non violent protest. "Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation" he said. When he talked about non violence in the face of the aggression of the racists, it seemed to many as an impossible idea. But the idea has swept down through the years and is still being practiced, because it worked.
When he spoke calmly and persistently to the racist the man might still falsely believe that the black man was inferior, but he had to concede that the black man was still being denied his Constitutionally guaranteed rights. And eventually 100,000 people showed up in Washington, DC to agree.
The Equal Rights idea soon began to flow out into many directions. It was seen how those of other ethnic groups are also victims of prejudice and denial. The handicapped, the old, even the young are being unfairly treated by society.
After King's tragic passing the Civil Rights movement got very political, fractionalized and split. Each corner seemed to have a speaker on the subject and various fruitless plans were formed and attempted. But a few groups were formed, like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union (which some people don't like because they don't understand it) that kept the lines clear to the Law and the Constitution.
But those organizations and others like them are patiently, calmly and non aggressively speaking the truth. Because once the orators, preachers, theorists and self servers had run out of energy and gone, the words of King remained. As he said "Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality."
The battle is still going on in our mud stuck society. There are too many old ideas trying to shove aside and shackle new ones. The best way to fight is to stand tall, strong and calm, address ignorance with truth, and provide whatever wisdom you have, with imagination, even if the world thinks you're insane.
"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)
DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up