Today marks a day that has gone down in history as a day of memory, for the hopes and dreams of the future. Today is day that I pay homage to Martin Luther King who was killed 40 years ago. I want to pay tribute to a man who has inspired me to reach for my dreams, that dreams can become reality, to stand for what is right and to make what seems impossible, possible!
Today I read an article in the Washington Post re-examining the past 40 years since his death. Though maybe not written as a dedicatory piece, there are some interesting opinions about what has happened to the economy since the 60's. The other side of the mountaintop: 40 years after his death, MLK rougher edges re-examined. The article states, "Today students learn of his powerful "dream" that children be judged not "by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Politicians and private citizens of all ideologies summon King's soaring oratory as the inspiration that challenged the nation to better itself. But this beleaguered young man -- he was only 39 when he died -- was not just the icon celebrated at Martin Luther King Day programs and taught in U.S. schools." This phrase sets the precedence for the rest of the article, revealing Martin Luther King as someone other than I learned about in school.
For me, Martin Luther King was just a man like anybody else. BUT he was a man that stood inspired in the face of opposition. He saw a future that only he and a few others could comprehend-a future that some of us are still having a hard time finding. He didn't see immediate change, but he saw the affects of what could happen because of progression.
It makes me laugh and feel a little resilient when I hear about politicians who want to change America. America doesn't need fixing, it just needs progress. If we don't like where we are as Americans, we need to step it up a notch. Change is the outcome, but progress is the next step.
The scriptures and the apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints talk about a change in heart being a process of progress. In the talk, Ye Must Be Born Again by David Bednar, he uses a parable to describe the process of progress "A pickle is a cucumber that has been transformed according to a specific recipe and series of steps. The first steps in the process of changing a cucumber into a pickle are preparing and cleaning. I remember many hours spent on the back porch of my home removing stems from and scrubbing dirt off of the cucumbers we had picked. My mom was very particular about the preparing and cleaning of the cucumbers. She had high standards of cleanliness and always inspected my work to make sure this important task was properly completed.
The next steps in this process of change are immersing and saturating the cucumbers in salt brine for an extended period of time. To prepare the brine, my mom always used a recipe she learned from her mother—a recipe with special ingredients and precise procedures. Cucumbers can only become pickles if they are totally and completely immersed in the brine for the prescribed time period. The curing process gradually alters the composition of the cucumber and produces the transparent appearance and distinctive taste of a pickle. An occasional sprinkle of or dip in the brine cannot produce the necessary transformation. Rather, steady, sustained, and complete immersion is required for the desired change to occur.
The final step in the process requires the sealing of the cured pickles in jars that have been sterilized and purified. The pickles are packed in canning jars, covered with boiling hot brine, and processed in a boiling-water-bath canner. All impurities must be removed from both the pickles and the bottles so the finished product can be protected and preserved. As this procedure is properly followed, the pickles can be stored and enjoyed for a long period of time.
To summarize, a cucumber becomes a pickle as it is prepared and cleaned, immersed in and saturated with salt brine, and sealed in a sterilized container. This procedure requires time and cannot be hurried, and none of the essential steps can be ignored or avoided."
Quoting from the Washington Post article, Martin Luther King gave his last speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis, saying: "It really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. . . . And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we as a people, will get to the Promised Land." We need progress in order to really 'change.'
Thank you Reverend King!
Martin Luther King announcement by JFK. Provided by MSN.
Marchers to honor King on anniversary of death. Provided by MSN.
History through King's words. Provided by MSN.
The Prophetic Anger of MLK. Provided by LA Times.
This article has an interesting quote, "What united King in his early and later periods is the incurable love that fueled his hopefulness and rage. As King's example proves, as we dream, we must remember the poor and vulnerable who live a nightmare. And as we strike out in prophetic anger against injustice, love must cushion even our hardest blows."