This was originally posted last year for Black History Month by Fisiwe Zwana-Freeman, but considering today is Dr. King's holiday in celebration of his birthday, I decided it befitting of a repost. Enjoy.
Written by FISIWE ZWANA-FREEMAN
For the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I reflect on what the anniversary of this era really means.
In my adult life, I must admit, I haven’t been all that diligent about celebrating the life of the great Rev. Dr. King. As a child, my parents made it a practice that we do something as a family to pay homage to the life of a great person who sacrificed his life for our sake. Whether we went to a community event or held one at home, we always did something because they felt it was important, no . . . imperative that we acknowledge; that we not forget and not take for granted what Rev. Dr. King had done for us all.
Today I reflect on what the good Rev. Dr. King has done for me and I only cursorily think of the many marches and protests, the days and nights he spent in jail, the countless meals with his children that he missed advocating on behalf of families in peril and the plethora of articulate speeches that he made in front of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people. These things, I admit, are amazing things.
I find myself mostly in awe of this man’s capacity to give, care, and love. I wonder how many sleepless nights he spent pained at the anguish others felt and needing to do something to alleviate it. I marvel at the strength of his faith, the knowledge he held that if he simply took action, it would matter enough. Somehow, he didn’t let the enormity of the problems he battled paralyze him. I admire, maybe more than anything, that he allowed his purpose to propel him forward, in spite of any fears he may have had, knowing that what he stood for, what he believed in, meant so much more than whatever he may have feared.
During this time, now 40 years after his assassination, I pray we have not come too far to remember the immense love that lived at the depths of Rev. Dr. King's heart; the true essence of AGAPE love that he wished for to the end to our suffering and the lasting of our unity and joy. In the mainstream propaganda and publicity around this man, too often is lost the message that lay at the heart of what his actions all truly displayed. And I don’t mean his efforts to end racial segregation in the south.
I think that Martin Luther King Jr. was about the business of living his purpose on this earth. I think he was lead by spirit to fulfill a heart wish that made him deeper than his flesh and wider than his thoughts. He demonstrated how seeds of love once planted can grow and blossom, are taken up by the wind planted again and continue on and on, endlessly.
I find his life to be a shining example of what it means to do what one knows is right, not what is expedient. And though most of us will never reach the level of public acclaim and notoriety that he did, the importance of the principles he stood for are not diminished in our lives.
I am seeing that his life and its visibility is just a tool the Universe has used to show us all what we must do, on our planet, in our country, in our community, at our jobs, and in our homes. Like many others we often call prophets, leaders, teachers, gurus and guides, his legacy is that any one of us . . . in fact all of us have the power of love in our hearts that can transform any circumstance.
I am reminded of a quote I recently used in a memo to the staff I supervise as motivation and inspiration. It says:
"Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will we should always have sufficient means. It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible." --Francois La Rochefoucauld
I think Francois’s words and Martin Luther King’s actions lay a significant blueprint that any of us can follow if we desire to shed our suffering and become the light we seek.
Now 40 years after his assassination, I pray we have not remained so unchanged that we don't think to take a moment to thank him and all the others who sacrificed and lived the love message in their walk and talk so that we might live more fulfilled lives, be more divine beings and live from the immense love that lives in our hearts, just waiting for us to acknowledge that heart's wish!
I ask myself, what will I do in 2008 to further fulfill my purpose on this earth, to be lead by spirit to fulfill a heart wish that makes me deeper than my flesh and wider than my thoughts? I’ve got some ideas, I’ve been hearing the spirit of my good friend “E” telling me: “It’s time for reinvention!” Now, I’m listening to spirit to guide my steps into each moment, into each new day.
Until next time, Be Awake and Be Well. May Metta "Lovingkindness" Fill Your Life.
Fisiwe is a writer, singer and performance poet. She is the author of Lovewords: Poetry From a Place Called Love, and she is the host of her own internet radio show, Love Art Life Radio. She can be reached at email@example.com.