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MLK Day…

January 21, 2013


Hey Y’all,

Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day in the United States. Today will be celebrated by memorial walks, moments of remembrance by his family, friends and other prominent African-Americans, and by several NBA games. In Memphis, the Grizzlies will hold their annual MLK Day game hosting the Indiana Pacers. At Halftime the team will honor Patrick Ewing, Elgin Baylor and Jim Brown for their contributions to civil and human rights. Here is the link:

I wonder what Dr. King would think about all of this. I am not sure what to make of it all and I grew up in the Memphis area. I have thought about what I want to say to my son about Dr. King. For those of you who don’t know, my son does not look like me. It is a good story, but one that I don’t want to tell the world about. It is his story to tell, not mine. Therefore, I hope y’all understand why I am not giving out the details publically. All my friends are welcome to e-mail me, and I will happily give you more details.

So what do I tell him about Dr. King? I think I will address the negatives of Dr. King’s life like this. It is publically known that Dr. King was not a perfect man or husband. The FBI followed Dr. King attempting to discredit him over a period of 15 years. Under that type of survalence, no one has a past that is impeccable . I would be ashamed to read my life history complete with all my failures on Wikipedia. I believe that the Lord does not judge me because of what I have done, rather I am judged on my heart. It is not my role in the world to judge anyone else. It is my role to live my life the best way possible, and when I am able it is my reponsibility to help others. No one has ever considered making my birthday a national day of remembrance. I have a long way to go.

The positives of his life speak for themselves. He was indeed a man of action, spirit, love, and passion. No matter what you think of Dr. King, I believe any honest person knows that he was a great man. He rightfully deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as other heroes of humanity.

My question to you guys, and my son, is this. Where is the next Dr. King? Our world desperately needs a person with his leadership qualities, passion, intelligence, and love.


From → politics

  1. I picture my life as a pyramid. For me, God is at the top of that– the point, the pinnacle. Everything else I try to do with my life falls under that. Being open to what I think I’m supposed to do in life, decisions guided by that point, is one of the toughest challenges I think I personally face. It seems like, faults and all, that’s what MLK was trying to do with his life as well. Often what we do may seem quiet and unassuming in our lifetime, but it’s like a domino– it’s one trigger in generations of circumstances and choices that can change lives.

    Your son is a lucky boy to have you as a father. My guess is you are a very influential domino in his life. It many never be what you do or don’t do– it’s about who you ARE and that comes through loud and clear in every post or comment you write.

    • Karlene permalink

      Julie, Rob’s son is a lucky young man for sure. I love your comment.

    • Thanks Julie,

      I love your description of the pyramid. That simple word implies height, width, and depth. A 3-D description of what a person should be. Dr. King was definitely a man who lived his life in all three dimensions., a man who should inspire anyone regardless of faith, creed, religion, race or gender.

  2. Karlene permalink

    Rob, tell your son that we all have the ability to be the next Dr. King. It could be him. We all are human, and make mistakes. It’s what we do with those errors that count. It’s what we do with our life that counts. Anyone who puts themselves out there for a cause, is putting themselves out there for potential attack. It is possible to find fault in anything. It is possible to see the intent, and the good in anything too.

    If we go through life seeing the bad, the bad will come into our vision. If we travel the world seeing the good, that becomes our reality. It doesn’t mean the other is not out there, it means life is about perspective.

    Dr. King had a dream. But he was a man. I do not believe that being human gives us an excuse. But it does give us the reality that we are not perfect. And we can learn from our mistakes, and from those of others. We can always work toward the type of person we want to be.

    Tell your son, this is his choice to decide if he wants to carry forward the negative, or to take the good and perpetuate that. For Dr. King, after reading the negative, I look at it and say, “Yeah, but…”
    Look what he was about. Look where he took our world. Look at all the good he did for society. I say, that’s what I want to remember.

    He made an impact in our world for the better. That’s the only truth I will carry forward. Tell your son there is a reason we throw out the garbage. There is no room in our life, and honestly… it stinks.
    Happy MLK day!

  3. Karlene,

    Thank you for your wonderful remarks. I agree with everything you said. Especially with the final thought. Keep the good and throw out the garbage. So true. Why do we like to carry an emotional backpack, and instead of tossing the garbage in the can, we put it in our backpack and keep it forever?

    It is exhausting to remember everything that has not gone our way, it hurts to drudge up the feelings and painful to everyone in our world. If I teach my kids anything, it will be to throw away the negative emotions and carry a love backback.

    • Karlene permalink

      Excellent lesson for sure! I suspect you’re teaching your kids many great lessons.

  4. Yes Karlene,

    I teach my kids a lot of wonderful lessons. I teach them to drive too fast, I teach them to not trust the police, listen to their heavy metal music way too loud, to make up names for the dogs and their friends (my son kind of got in trouble for calling his friend a nicename that the friend did not like), skip breakfast, drink large amounts of sweet tea and coke, sit on the couch and aviod housework, and throw the romote at the TV when Dallas loses. I am a great teacher. Ha Ha.

    • Karlene permalink

      Oh, this is funny. I’m thinking you would make a great character in a story called life!

  5. I would make a great character in a story called “Train Wreck!”

    It is funny, making myself laugh. Good Luck at the confrence!

    • Karlene permalink

      Thanks. You just named the book. lol. Laughter is the best way to start the day.

      • Please feel free to use it. I have given Erica permission to use another phrase for a title to a book. Maybe I can have a career naming books and giving out ideas. I wonder if there is any money in that?

        Certainty not if I give it away for free. Maybe there is a lesson somewhere…maybe not.

      • Karlene permalink

        Hey Rob, I don’t think there is a money there. A million people are walking the world right now carrying really great titles that someday they will write the book. lol. But the really funny thing is, I’ve got my own list going. You do have a talent… maybe the book???

      • Karlene,

        Thanks for ruining my day. Now I will have to go back to work. I just got home last night. Thanks a lot…

      • Karlene permalink

        Lol. Tomorrow will be a better day. 🙂

  6. Rob,

    The next Dr. King who will inspire the masses will not be promoting civil rights, or what they call civil rights these days. The civil rights fight today is a pale comparison to the one fought by Dr. King and others like him. I would call it more of a social justice fight.

    The country is woefully divided today, and I hope the next great leader will be a person who will unite us, rather than play politics or pit one class against the other.

    Dr. King was deservedly memorialized on the mall of our nation’s Capitol, an honor only 4 presidents received. Not even JFK or Ronald Reagan can boast that.

    • I think you hit it exactly right. The next great leader will be someone who unites us all. It seems that all the great leaders go into business and shy away from political or social causes. I don’t have a problem with that, but it would be nice if we could find a person of honor willing to enter the political arena.

      Dr. King was a special man, that much is true and not open to debate. I have been reading his quotes the past few days and he just said it like it is. Maybe I will highlight some of his quotes in the future.

      Thanks for weighing in on the discussion. It is nice to have the voice of an educator in the mix.

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