The American marketing giant will seek out and capitalize on any possible reason to promote a sale or dramatic news. Holidays are typically blown out of proportion in this country and therefore, original meanings are somewhat diminished. Today is no different.
In an effort to focus on the true reason for the national observance of MLK Day, especially since my awareness was heightened after seeing the movie 'Selma' this weekend, I write to honor the birthday (January 15, 1929) and life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His bravery and boldness to stand up for basic civil rights, while encouraging non-violence (Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 1964), is admirable. I also give honor to his wife, Coretta Scott King, and his many advisors, mentors and supporters, who often suffered during their quest for equality.
A federal holiday was granted in 1983 and even though it took many years before it was officially observed by all 50 states (the final one being SC in 2000), I'm glad Martin Luther King Day is nationally recognized.
No man or woman is without fault or sin, even those called to ministry and leadership, but that fact nor the other controversies that have been brought up about his life should overshadow the immense dedication and determination Dr. King displayed throughout his 39 years on Earth. I am impressed by it. (Sidenote: I'm certainly not impressed by the ignorance and actions of those opposing his cause ... how embarrassing and disgusting.)
God created human life. We are intricately woven as individuals and then He continues to weave us together into a beautiful tapestry of humanity that spans the globe. He loves the elements of His masterpiece, equally and unconditionally. 'The Lord does not see as man sees; for a man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.' --1 Samuel 16:7
As mentioned, the media tends to focus on extremes, from the drama of certain protests and demonstrations taken too far or the angry comments of racism from all parties (God help us) to the monetary business sales of the weekend to actually ignoring the day all together (as of noon MST, msn.com had no mention of Martin Luther King Day in its top news!). However, amidst a few informative articles about special ceremonies and positive actions taking place in various states, I appreciated one journalist's perspective on abcnews.com suggesting '5 Ways to Honor the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'
The basic points were:
Commit to Something
May I add a few more, in honor of our Creator ...
Grant Understanding to Someone
Extend Grace to Someone
Unconditionally Love Someone
Thank you, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for promoting equal rights as peacefully and powerfully as possible.
I honor you today.