January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968
I have struggled for days to try and think of something, anything, to say that might somehow express how I feel about this man. Part of this reflection has involved rereading some of my favorite speeches, letters, and writings of Dr. King and placing them in their historical context. For me, this means exploring the sights, sounds, and smells of the moment or moments in which the words that inspire me were recorded. In this journey, I have also spent a great deal of time in a time warp...applying Dr. King's words to the sights, sounds, and smells of today.
I do not pretend that I am first or the only to suggest that half a century has done little to impact the relevancy of Dr. King's message. Other, more qualified authors have waxed eloquent on the truths of love, peace activism, non-violence resistance, and the promise of a more socially and economically just world.
So instead, in honor of one of my heroes, I publish three quotes, all on silence, that speak to me. They are what fuels my passion and inspire me to speak my mind, even if my voice shakes.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.