Today, all through my area, swing sets and trampolines are empty and unused while kids huddle around televisions on this school holiday. Well, holiday for public schools. We aren’t taking today off, not because I am a racist pig, but because we are only taking off three days total this year, and I kind thought MLK was a lesser holiday that the Fourth of July, and an individual birthday and the day after Thanksgiving (when I will be in Charlotte).
Brr. It is cold! This morning I was able to put on my favorite sweatshirt for the first time in two years. It looks like we are finally having winter, and as bad as I hate being cold, I hope it lasts more than three days. We have not had a real winter in several years, and while it’s been fun to run around in shirt sleeves all the time, it has caused other issues. The past few summers, we’ve had mosquito trucks out spraying a couple times a week and the fly population is approaching Biblical Plague proportions. Ok, I exaggerate, but only slightly. My point is BUGS–without the winter cold to kill them off, they just continue to multiply. Exponentially.
Some time ago, I went to Las Vegas, and I have blogged extensively about that trip, but I have held one part back. You know, sometimes when we weigh and measure a life, we let the effect of that life color our perception of the person who lived it. Today, of course, I am speaking of Dr. King. In my mind, he has always been a huge man, full of wonderful pontifications, and saintly behavior. Only such a person could affect society in such a grand way. I had an opportunity to view the display of artifacts from his life at the Atlanta airport and my perceptions were false. MLK was a small man. Here is a photo of one of his suits. For reference, the plaque underneath is about a foot wide. He was little.
And he smoked. I didn’t take a photo of the photo, because I was concerned about copyright, but he was smoking in it. So there we have it, a little man, with faults and a dream. And drive and determination. I thought on these things on the way to Vegas: the magnitude of the things we can accomplish if we harness the dream and drive. See, MLK was so much more than the one famous speech. And he was also less. But when the call to duty came, he stood up and said yes. YES. God can use a Yes Man to do things way beyond what seems possible. I know many will say that the nation was ready for a change, we were on the cusp of it, whatever. That does not effect my point at all. If the man had said No, then the change would have been different, or delayed. He could have dwelt on all his shortcomings instead of what could be. It’s a powerful testimony to all of us with human weaknesses, that a man with feet of clay could ignite a fire in the hearts of human beings that changed an entire society.
I noted in my post title that I live in the Deep South. Not that I ever tried to hide it, LOL, just ask the people who’ve heard me talk. There were race riots here even after I was born. It was several years after the Federal Government adopted MLK, Jr. Day that the State of North Carolina adopted it as an official holiday. And yet we have come so far in such a relatively short time. King’s death in 1968 came just a hair more than 100 years after slavery ended. That’s an eye blink, really. Less than a 2 lifetimes from then until now. That’s crazy fast, historically speaking.
And, yes, I have spent time at the martinlutherking.org site, so there is no need to send me to it thinking you are enlightening me. This post is about so much more than the man. This post is about what ordinary people can do for and in our society, and if you don’t get that, then you need more help than I can give you. There will be another post some time on charisma and its effects, and I’ll likely mention King, and Jones, and Clinton, and Reagan. But that is not today’s post. Today’s post is about what can happen when you harness a dream, and aren’t intimidated by a little hard work.