Monday, January 19, 2015

The Dream, The Nightmare

Listening to recorded speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., alongside interviews from those closest to him, I notice something:

his utter discouragement. 

Somehow, when I have read about him, I have formed in my mind a figure so strong and so invulnerable to the forces that he had to move against in order to speak a truth that needed to be heard.

We honor him fully today, but he was not supported in his time, and over time, this led him to doubt. 

He did not doubt the truth that he spoke.

But he had times that he doubted what use it was.

What use to speak the truth, and have it fall on deaf ears?

What use to live by truth, and have it be discredited, rejected, demonized?

He was not immune to weariness.  He had times he wondered if he should just take a position as a preacher, and lead a church, as he was trained to do. 

He moved through doubt. 

In this speech, A Time To Break Silence, he begins with this as the foundation:

"I cannot remain silent." 

He may not have wanted to continue to live a mission which seemed to bring so little response.  But at the core, he felt he had to.  His words:

We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace....If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter -- but beautiful -- struggle for a new world. 

Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? ..... Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history. 

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