Pride, on this day

Pride (in the name of love) – U2 (as they perform it live as of 2006)

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

(nobody like you…)

Afternoon, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of loveIn the name of love
What more in the name of love…

Today is January 21, 2008. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday. 40 years ago, this year, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down by a scumsucking coward. The fact that Dr. King would have forgiven him for his evil deed, is a fact not to be forgotten, for he was also a man of God, a man who truly believed in and understood the universal values of human equality and rights that are recognized by every civilized belief system the world over.

We all know his story – it’s on many websites, not to mention Wikipedia. If you haven’t heard his speeches, they’re available. I’m not doing your research for you. That’s the job of libraries, not blogs.

This is a Federal holiday, and a holiday in most states. It’s the most special type of holiday, because it’s not a holiday for drinking beer, grilling burgers, watching NASCAR or bowl games, exchanging gifts, or going fishing. Instead, it’s the day that we should annually remind ourselves of who Dr. King was. What he stood for – basic fairness, passion, human kindness, the power of the spoken word to challenge and inspire, charity towards others – and above all, basic human rights for all – and what his presence on this earth should still inspire us to do today.

Period. No more, no less.

Of course, most people think of Dr. King’s mission as being 0ne of civil rights for African-Americans, which certainly was the basis of his life’s work, although many people not of African-American descent were inspired to thought and action by his works and words. His work resulted in rights being guaranteed under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on racial grounds, as well as for women, people who were born in other countries and emigrated to the US, and people of faith – and inspired myriad other laws that protected housing rights and rights for handicapped people, to name just a couple.

Dr. King is a hero of mine. I am many shades lighter, lack his power to hold an audience of thousands in the palm of his hand, not to mention the ultimate power he had to inspire people to follow and work for a righteous purpose. I have other skills that I try to use in the service of human rights, but none stack up to his. I’m not aware of anyone currently alive that has Dr. King’s skill set.

People throughout the world will study the life, works, and words of this man centuries from now, will learn from and apply his lessons, and will aspire to his oratory prowess and ability to inspire. Remember him today, consider his words and deeds, and ask yourself what you can do to help those who still are working for human rights. If you aspire to Dr. King’s goals, and work in the spirit of his memory, you may not achieve what he did – but you will do good for all human beings.

PB

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