I posted on Martin Luther King Day back in January. The 28th of last month was the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s now famous speech.
The BBC reported that President Obama said that, “”When you are talking about Dr King’s speech at the March on Washington,” he added, “you’re talking about one of the maybe five greatest speeches in American history.””
Sky News reported, “Mr Obama is set to speak on the steps of Washington’s Lincoln Memorial, the site of Dr King’s address on August 28, 1963 before a crowd of 250,000 people.” “Dr King, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was assassinated by a white prison escapee in 1968.”
Wikipedia reminds its readers of the influence of Jesus Christ on Luther’s life:
“As a Christian minister, Martin Luther King’s main influence was Jesus Christ and the Christian gospels, which he would almost always quote in his religious meetings and speeches at church; but also in public discourses. King’s faith was strongly based in Jesus’ commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself, loving God above all, and loving your enemies, praying for them and blessing them. His non-violent thought was also based in the injuction to turn the other cheek in the Sermon on the Mount, and Jesus’ teaching of “putting your sword back into its place” (Matthew 26:52). In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, King urges action consistent with what he describes as Jesus’ “extremist” love, and also quotes numerous other Christian pacifist authors, which was very usual for him. In his speech I’ve Been to the Mountaintop, he states he just wanted to do God’s will.
Apart from Jesus Christ, King gave credit to Boston University for its influence on his life. “It was this University that meant so much to me, in terms of the formulation of my thinking and the ideas that have guided my life,” said King. Martin Luther King will always be one of America’s great icons, deservedly for what he was and what he stood for. Known for his quotes perhaps the one quote that will and should remain memorable is, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of the character.”
We spend a lot of time, and even laws to enforce changed attitudes and behaviour. But behaviour has to begin with our value system, what we think, feel and believe. Unless those change then there is no change. Our values influence our attitude toward those around us and towards life in general, and those attitudes are reflected some way or another in our behaviour. Without change in our values, behaviours are not going to change. We might mask our thoughts and feelings and look good on the outside, but Jesus said, unless we clean the inside of the cup, then the outside will remain unclean. Matthew 23:25-26. Whatever our values they will at some stage show in attitudes and behaviour. A subject that Jim Denison addresses in, Is Martin Luther King’s Dream Still Alive?