The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. – Dr Martin Luther King
I was not yet nine years old when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. But the impact of his leadership and legacy of the Civil Rights movement which brought down the institutional barriers of race, are even more mindful today. Growing up in a restless generation: a country angry over opportunities denied, a war that left only broken ideals and broken people behind, nations that possessed weapons to exterminate continents, and science that thousands of people collaborated to send Man to the Moon and return safely. Yet, even non-believers know Jesus two thousand years later, and will know the Son of God two thousand years from today. And Dr King, a disciple of Jesus, who challenged a generation. My life, my Navy mentors, and my church brothers are stamped with his life’s legacy fifty years later.
The world will forget Presidents, politicians, schemers and celebrities who preen themselves before cameras, who stuff envelopes of cash into their pockets while professing altruism and benevolence, make pronouncements that reveal idiocy, hypocrisy or selfishness. Wretched schemers and dreamers may leave an impact, but no honorable legacy.
Those who remember and honor King’s memory will spend the day in service, neighbor helping neighbor, volunteering to ease someone’s poverty, loneliness, or hunger. The petty power-grabs, threats and foolishness of men will come and go. Because faith, the dreams of Doctor King, and Love continue to overcome evil with good.