Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Many of us have the day off work today. For the rest of us, we are left to contemplate human rights from our workplace.
Whether we are at home, on vacation, or continuing the daily grind, today is an important holiday. Many of us were around on August 28th, 1963 when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his iconic speech. I remember speaking with one senior a few months ago about the time when she was a young girl trying to survive the Chicago Riots of 1968.
Human rights, when you think about it, were very limited in the US, and not very long ago either. Many would argue that we still have a long way to go.
Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.
How far we’ve come
There is no doubt, that in the last hundred and fifty years, we as a nation have grown up considerably. Human rights have improved drastically for all races, genders, nationalities, and religions. Slavery, persecution, segregations, diminutive legal rights, and more are hopefully things of the past.
Without question, racism and persecution still exist, but with every new generation, we come closer to shedding the prejudice, pride, hate, and the pain that have existed for too long in our nation.
In many parts of the country, Mart Luther King’s, Jr.’s dream has become the reality, and for that we are grateful.
How far we have to go
Despite the progress we’ve made in the last several decades, the war rages on. The US is a giant melting pot, or so we’ve all been taught. Like multiple major waterfalls crashing together, this combination can be turbulent at first, but eventually, the expanded river grows strong and steady.
Even if we feel that we are near that calm end, there are still eddies of resistance that remain. We don’t have to look far to see these pockets of problems in the news, even today. When people persecute or bully others based on color or religion, you know the fight is far from over.
To think that Apartheid in South Africa lasted clear until 1994, is evidence that our world is still struggling to shake the shackles of separatism. And this isn’t just limited to racism.
In our day, there is an estimated 400,000 slaves still in some form of captivity, here in the US alone! That’s not even considering the 43+ million more around the world.
Laws around the world are quickly condemning slavery around the globe, but it is still an industry that thrives behind the scenes. Until we as a nation, and a world, can drop our fears of difference, our pride, greed, and elitisms, we’ll always be fighting this in some degree. For many of us, it takes opening our eyes, then being brave enough to confront it.
Today is a day to be inspired
So today, where-ever you are, don’t forget to take some time to reflect on our history. We have a lot of great reasons to be proud. Great men and women who have come before us have opened our eyes and made our country greater that it has ever been.
Just remember, that there is still room for many more great men and women to make a difference. Maybe that is by sharing your experiences with your kids and grandkids, or maybe it’s donating time to help those who are in need, or just being a friend. Being retired means that we have a spectacular opportunity. We have time. Time to have fun, but also time to do a lot of real good. In many cases, doing good and having fun can be one in the same.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!