I only have a vague memory of Dr. Martin Luther King. I was just 3 years old when he was brutally assassinated. I simply remember seeing the reports about him when my dad was watching the news.
As someone who is white, I really have no understanding of what it is like for others to look down on me because of skin color. I make no assumptions that my parents were perfect on what they thought about African Americans, but they were able to look beyond and teach me to respect everyone. However, growing up I could always sense the tension between the different races.
Important laws have been passed to try and overcome the racism of our nation’s past. Sadly though, laws can’t change a man’s heart. Some wounds only heal with the passing of time, and proactive and intentional actions to move us in the right direction. (Tweet This)
At the end of the day, the only person I can change is myself. For me, the best way to honor Dr. King is to live out his call each and every day. (Tweet This)
No matter our race, there are a few ways that we can live this day out every day and bring about real change.
(All quotes are by Dr. Martin Luther King.)
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
- We have to take responsibility for our own actions, even when those actions are hard.
- We need to stand up for what is right. We must lend our voice to the defense of others. (Tweet This)
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
- We should always respond with love. Even when we have been wronged our response must be love. If this is a struggle, we ask God for his forgiveness and for him to change your heart. Laws can’t change our heart, only God can.
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
- We must be willing to forgive even when the person who has wronged us has not asked for forgiveness.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” (Tweet This)
- Small things matter. Offer a smile. Hold a door open. Strike up a conversation and be intentional to be inclusive.
The race relations in the U.S. have come a long way in the last forty five years; however, we have to be honest to know we still have a long way to go. Love for one another cannot be forced or imposed. It will only happen when we take the first step.
Your voice is important, and I would love to hear from you.
What are the ways you can live Martin Luther King Day out every day?