“Some things change but some things remain the same!” That might have been the opening line of a King speech if he were here with us celebrating his 85th birthday. Dr. King is remembered during the national holiday as a champion of social justice. But “King vs. King” is an Epic Tale Between then and now.
A look back in time shows periods of high drama forcing a nation to wake up and smell the coffee. This moved things along where opportunities in education, employment and enterprise were no longer restricted by dark lines. We have more clarity in laws, though there isn’t similar parity of income gains.
Back in the day Dr. King took a look at the state of affairs like how the President takes a snapshot of the State of the Union. After surveying the social landscape he came up with a picture of a better America to advance what the founding fathers called a more perfect union. Dr. King called it “I Have a Dream!”
The dream of Dr. King was rooted in the American Dream. The American Dream is rooted in lessons from the founding fathers. So Dr. King wasn’t too far off when his messages were built around economic evangelism. It’s just that he had to flip the script on the doctrine from revolution to non-violent protest.
He was in the trenches with garbage workers and garment workers. He was a leader on the home-front and international scene. He spoke out against some of the things that had to change. His call for social activism applies today as communities deal with violence, economic un-ease and political shenanigans.
But it is his mountaintop experience that speaks the loudest and maybe the strongest. This might have begun with a divine encounter followed by some telescopic look into the soul of a nation. Even after what he saw, Dr. King still chose hope over skepticism. That is testament to a deep love for his fellow man.
Dr. King inspired us to make his dream real from the Stone Mountains of Georgia to the Appalachian Trails. This also means looking at urban centers of big cities to suburban villages and the countryside. What you’ll find today requires new solutions to old problems in order for his dream to take greater hold.
Footnote: Celebrating the anniversary of his legacy is good but reflecting on the impact of his life’s work should at least inspire us to take action for http://www.UrbanChangeNow.org.