Monday, January 21, 2013

How the Vision Outlives the Visionary

Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday Celebration
In all the excitement of the presidential inauguration, it seems like Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday celebration was put on the back burner. But it was the DREAM and VISION of Dr. King's non-violent movement which created the REALITY of being able to elect the first African American president. Because Dr. King's life was tragically cut short, he could not see the his dream and vision realized. Usually, great leaders' vision and dreams outlive the leader. Abraham Lincoln. Mahatma Ghandi and President John F. Kennedy did not live to see their vision carried out but they were the catalyst in changing history. That's the difference between and a leader and a Great leader. Their vision outlive them but impact the lives of others far into the future.

I often wonder what would Dr. King would think if he were alive today. I'm sure he would be proud of some of the accomplishments that has taken place in America since the 1960s but I'm sure he would be disappointed how far this country still has to go. Although great strides has been made in the social and political climate since the 1960s, there is still a lot of poverty, social inequality, political strife and war that plaques this country. I'm sure he would say the same issues he was facing 50 plus years ago are the same issues we're facing now. It seems as if we don't learn from history like we should.

The Dream is Still Alive. The Struggle Still Lives
Because of the struggles and sacrifices our ancestors gave for this country, Americans many times take the benefits of the struggle for granted. Just think. In many of our life time, there was legal segregation. There were separate public facilities. Separate schools. Separate hotel accommodations. Restaurants in some places were off limits to African Americans. It seems like the struggle and the significance of Dr. King gets lost in the media's replaying of Dr. King's "I have a dream speech." Dr. King did a lot more than dream. He brought a lot of people together, fought for the rights of many people and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

In light of today's political, social and economic struggles of today, Americans must remember the struggle. Not only remember the struggle but learn from it and apply what we learned. A people who don't learn from the past is doomed to repeat it. It's a great sign of progress that we're electing the 44th president without political unrest. No Klan marches with confederate signs marching in Washington, D.C. No rioting. No coups or loss of life due to disagreement of political party. The U.S. is clearly a beacon of light for democracy but we must make some changes right now if America's future and the dream and vision Dr. King will continue in the future.

Would appreciate your feedback and comments. How do you think Dr. Martin Luther King's movement has affected our current political and social situation or perhaps you don't think it has. Either way, let me know what you think.

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