Legacy of MLK Jr – 2020

When thinking about Martin Luther King Jr. I have often referred back to the great example of his “mentor” Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. We commonly know him as Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma means sage, revered person, spiritual leader. I put mentor in quotation marks because the two men never actually met. But Gandhi was the model that King used to shape his mission in civil rights.
There were others examples of that model as well. Nelson Mandela of South Africa was another example. But the model is more ancient than that. One could put Jesus Christ in the same category.
The model of which I speak is one that must win out in the end. The problem is how do we get to peace and harmony by allowing ourselves to be clubbed to death, or nearly so, as in the case of Elijah Cummings when he was a young man?
Most of us will never be asked to endure what, Gandhi, Mandela, Cummings and King were willing to subject themselves. We only need to have the courage to speak out against injustice because we still live in a free society. We will not be dragged off in the dead of night never to be heard from again. We may be ridiculed and if you run a business you may lose sales or be boycotted. Those things are hard to take, but I ask. “What price are you willing to pay for your freedom?”
The Old Testament speaks of an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. Gandhi said that would only lead is to a country that is blind and toothless.
We celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. not because he won military battles. His army owned none of the instruments of war. His armaments were imbedded in the ideals that make life among us possible and rewarding.
I also find it interesting that the founding fathers of this great country put the right words on paper as embodied in the “Declaration of Independence” “The Constitution” and the “Bill of Rights” even if they were not initially able to live up to those same words. But it is those words that MLK used to make his points on equality and civil rights. 
Those words were not accidental. They were there for us to grow into.

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