Remembering why Martin Luther King’s legacy and message is still important in today’s world.
Many remember Martin Luther King’s speech at the foot of the Washington monument and children today are taught about King’s leadership and support of freedom. When you ask them about his life, they speak about his efforts in the civil rights movement.
Reverend Martin Luther King’s message was so much more. It is unfortunate that few people really remember or have heard the complete text of the “I have a dream speech”. His speech at the Lincoln Monument was more than just saying, “I have a dream”.
Martin Luther King also talked about his hopes for a future fellowship of man, where people were judged “not by the color of their skin but by the actions of their deeds”. As we remember him, we must also remember that his message is still important today.
Reverend Martin Luther King authored one of the greatest speeches in American history. He spoke of opportunities not to be given but to be taken by individuals. Martin Luther King did not talk about entitlements but of giving people a chance to achieve everything they could. He set no conditions to freedom, created no limits and made no excuses.
He talked about discrimination in his speech as a barrier to opportunity. A barrier to opportunity that could be broken, Reverend King’s message was one of self-fulfillment, of hope, of knowing that others should not set limits or discourage dreams. This is something we should all remember and encourage. Martin Luther King did not speak of excuses but advocated the attitude of non-violent change.
Reverend King spoke of faith and God that part of his message that has been somehow lost in the passage of time. Historians have even tried to erase his dedication to God by downplaying the title he so rightly earned “Reverend”.
Listening to his most inspirational and famous speech, how cannot one believe that God inspired him just as he encouraged, hoped and dreamed for others. Reverend King did not hate those who hated him or called them names. Martin Luther King spoke from his heart and inspired a nation.
As we remember the legacy of Martin Luther King, take the time to re-listen to his most famous speech. We need to remember his noble example and treat those who disagree with us with civility, again. In the words of Reverend King, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred…”