Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we observed Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. I heard two speeches this morning on how he affected their lives.

I am ashamed to say I was not aware of most things happening in the south. I was more concerned with my stomach asking when I would have food and going to the library for my next book.

I watched the police, firemen, citizens, and the dogs as they turned the water hoses onto the black men and women and the dogs eager to attack.

It is difficult for me to think about those horrific times in our history. It is even more challenging to believe we as a people could treat another race that way simply because of their skin color or the shape of their eyes.

I was living in Illinois at the time of Dr. King‘s assassination. I saw white women with tears in their eyes, white men walking around in stunned disbelief, black men shaking their heads at what had happened, and black women crying.

I believe we were all shocked that such a thing could happen. It is a day I will never forget. It was the day I became an adult legally. The day I turned twenty-one.

Over the next few weeks, I noticed some subtle changes in how people at the nursing home treated each other. It is terrible only the death of a good person that we begin to see what they have tried to teach us all along. We must not let their deaths be in vain.

When I think about the past and how things were, I know we can not let it happen again. I remember, but I don’t dwell on it because I can not change what has already happened. It is my and your responsibility not to let it happen again.

We are great together. We are the garden of flowers—all different shades and colors, and beautiful. We all bring something unique to this world, and our world would significantly diminish if any of us were no longer a part of it.

I paraphrased a quote by Dr. King this morning. I was a little off. Dr. King said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” and I said, “I choose to love; it takes too much work to hate.” Choose love, and let’s make this world a better place to live.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.