Like so many of us today,
I'm remembering the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Being born in 1969,
I belong to the very first generation of people for whom he's never been a living being — he's always been a larger than life legend, an icon of the rather quaint knowledge that we are all HUMAN first, and skin pigmentation much
later. In an age where we have an African-American president, an era when blacks had to drink from different water fountains seems like ancient history. By comparison, there's a generation of children coming up now who have no memory of September 11, 2001 — but whose lives have been shaped by it in ways they can't imagine.
The great speaker that Dr. King was, it is so tempting to boil him down into a few soundbytes. That's how he got stuck with the cliche of a moniker “The Dreamer.” I don't want to minimize the power of that dream, or the work he did in striving for racial justice. It's just that the more that I get to know Dr. King through his speeches and writings, the greater I revere him as a profound spiritual teacher — a man whom, like Jesus, I strive to
pattern my life after.
If you are struggling with some challenge, you owe it to yourself to read “Strength To Love” by Dr. King. I can't explain what that book has done for me during some of my darkest days. Anyway, as I was driving to visit my mother this weekend, I heard this excerpt from Dr. King's “Drum Major Instinct” speech. It brought me to tears because he describes how I want to live my life, how I want to be remembered.
Not just today, but for the rest of the year, take some time to dig into Dr. King's writings and lesser known speeches. Learn why he teaches us to have a “tough mind and a tender heart” and how he offers a modern perspective on the Jesus principle of loving your enemies.
Prince has a song dedicated to Dr. King on his latest album, LotusFlow3r. As he says in that song, “If it was just a dream . . . then call me a dreamer too . . .”
My mother plays piano. Quite well, in fact. Among the songs she loves to play and that I love to hear is called “If I Can Help Somebody.” Lyrics go like this:
“If I can help somebody, as I pass along . . . then my living shall not be in vain.”
It sums up a large part of my parents’ life philosophy — consequently, I cherish it as a part of the legacy they left me. And the reason I bring it up here is because of a posting I found on a bulletin board about “A Message From God.”
As much as I love this project and what it’s doing in the world, I actually don’t get a lot of feedback on it. So when I ran across these remars from “Taimour” on a bulletin board at Stresscenter.org . . . well, it meant a whole lot to me. Check it out:
- I’m always excited to find out that something that The Author brought through me is touching lives, period.
- This reader is Muslim. This project was never intended to convert anyone to a specific religion and it respects all religious traditions. Instead, it’s meant to help its readers develop a relationship with The Author, regardless of their religious background. It seems to have done that in Taimour’s case, which is both awesome and humbling.
- This reader is from Giza, Egypt. Although The Author told me this message would touch millions worldwide, watching it actually happen is pretty awesome!
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