Written by: Tony Robinson
This month we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was quoted saying:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
We have to be careful not to loose the essence and the true meaning of the lessons conferred on us by Dr. King. All too often the power of the messages we receive are lost in translation due to the recipients having not being fully engaged in the rudiments that birthed the passion of the message. In turn, we operate on the top surface of the message and only experience the emotional stimulants of the lesson but never digesting the true intent down to our core. As a result, truth is never translated to power and the emotionalism soon fades away, as emotion is never the real foundation of any sustainable change!
One of the major attributes Dr. King possessed was courage. In the very face of adversity and in a racially charged environment Dr. King took courage and declared that racial inequality and injustice was wrong, and he refused to mute the passion and conviction that drove him to call for change. Courage is the mental and moral strength to persevere danger, fear, or difficulty. I believe that this fire for change in his belly caused him to belt out the quote I mentioned at the start of this article. He refused to sit in a place of comfort in a blatantly uncomfortable situation . He took on the mantle of controversy and started to kick against both the physical and mental paradigms that enslaved people of color for no justifiable reason. His courage called to the surface the gross injustice that was in plain sight and created a loud tone of resistance by him and those who took the courage to stand with him.
Courage is contagious, not only is it bold and and relentless, but it is attractive as well. One man or woman with courage can soon become a mighty army! A man who would not accept the unrighteous lot he was given created a dynamo that crescendoed into a movement that has created ripples throughout history that has in many ways mounted into waves of change – all because of courage!! Yes, courage under a raging fire of inequality. Dr. King stepped forward and inconvenienced the notion of injustice and demanded positive movement.
This is what we celebrate this week. It’s more than the “holiday”; it’s all about the hope that Dr. King created many years ago. It’s about being socially conscious and cognizant of the subtleties and in some cases blatant undertones of the things he fought for still existing in the fabric of our society today. We have to be courageous in doing our part to help affect change!