What MLK Day should mean for you

Originally posted onto Newsaratti.com 1/18/16

 

About 50 years ago, a man who on first glance was not remarkable in any particular way, pushed an entire country to take a cold hard look at just what it was doing when it came to equality.

This particular man devoted his life, and even gave his life, to instill in the citizens of the United States, and even people of other nations,  the message that all people regardless of the color of skin, religions practiced, or style of life chosen to live out, should all be treated as equals.

The name of this man has become etched into the very fabric of this nation, and has become almost legendary in status: Dr. Martin Lither King Jr..

As we all revel in the vacation that is MLK day this upcoming Monday, it’s easy to gloss over the real reason as to why we have this day off and marked as a holiday to begin with. It’s more than just a day the post office is closed, –this day is meant to serve as a reminder.

MLK day is a flag on the calendar that is meant to catch our attention and bring it back to an issue that couldn’t be farther from being solved. The purpose of this looked over holiday is to bring attention to becoming more and more sensitive to how we handle diversity as a nation. That was MLK’s intention with his speeches, his writings, and the overall message of the movement he fronted.

Although Dr. King spoke directly towards racial equality between people of white skin and black, that does not at all mean that we today who are fine with racial differences need not listen and take to heart his message. Regardless of how different someone may be to you, they are still people who have just the same rights as you do. Period. They have a right to pursue happiness just as you do, and have a right to seek that happiness without persecution from people that seek to punish them for reasons that do not merit unfair treatment. Gay, lesbian, transsexual, immigrants, poor, people of disabilities, people of different cultures,… –the list goes on and on for those  who may be different than that of the average straight, white, and middle class American. Whatever the difference may be between you and the person beside you, any negative feelings you may have towards them should be put aside, because what good does it do to hold onto it? Who does it benefit to cling to this bitterness?

This was the message Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sought to teach us, and it is as relevant now as it was 50 years ago. Perhaps even more so.

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