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Monday, January 17, 2005

Little Known Fact About MLK (and you)

There will be so much said about it by far more articulate people than I that I'm going to keep this short for a change.

Here's a true story about Martin Luther King, Jr. that I heard today.

I met a man today who's father went to seminary with MLK. His father was selected to march next to King because he was blonde, blue eyed, southern, and very, very white. this can be seen in some of the documentaries of the Chicago marches.

While marching shoulder to shoulder with King in Chicago, Scott's father heard him muttering over and over again, “This is crazy. What were we thinking? We're going to get killed. We should all just go home and live.”

He was scared shitless. Yet he had the courage to do what needed to be done. I think that's about the most inspiring story I've ever heard about the man. But not for the usual reasons. Not because MLK was such a great man that he could overcome his fear, buck up his courage and march... but because it means that he was not one whit different than the rest of us, scared, unsure, questioning, and doing the best he could despite all odds against him.

It means to me that ANY of us can do it, and I suspect King would agree with me. We all have the courage. But we don't think we do because we're scared.

Well, he was fucking scared, too.

So we no longer have an excuse.

Happy Martin Luther King day.

May we all rise to his very human greatness, and act on our courage despite our fears.


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