I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King Jr.
When our boys were growing up we would celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday by inviting friends to our home for a potluck and sing. The house would be packed with friends, noisy children, and whatever unruly dog we had at the time. Sometimes we’d eat first, sometimes we’d sing first but either way, we’d raise the roof with our voices. I know there were years when we felt particularly annoyed or depressed by domestic and global affairs but the discord we are facing now is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. This year, the national holiday actually fell on Dr. King’s birthday – January 15th (1929). And, once again, we gathered, sang our hearts out, and re-dedicated ourselves to building the world that he envisioned. In between the songs, we took turns reading quotes from a number of familiar (and some not familiar) voices who have spoken their truths. Here are a handful of my favorites.
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it — always. – Gandhi
A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim. -Maya Angelou
Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused. – Alan Cohen
What we would like to do is change the world–make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute–the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words–we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend. ― Dorothy Day
Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us. – Marianne Williamson
I’m guessing that the events of the past couple of weeks would have broken King’s heart – but – as Michelle Obama reminds us “…The hateful language we hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, we don’t stoop to their level. When they go low, we go high…” And, this, we must do. We must do it in every way we know how with whatever skills, tools and connections we have – whether we sing, write, organize, march, boycott, teach, pray, cook, photograph or all of the above – we have to create the world we know is possible by living it.
Ideas • Information • Action
The folks at Wall of Us have four great suggestions this week.
- Check out the Millenials push to flip the House and Senate – highlighting IL – #UnseatTheSeven
- MARCH – it’s the anniversary of the Women’s March! Find a march near you and get your pink hat out of the closet!
Artists at Work
Article/short video in the Washington Post that shows Robin Bell’s work – a projectionist provocateur – Bell projected the vulgar language used by Trump this past week onto Trump hotel in DC. It stayed up for about 40 minutes!
I just watched Oprah’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards. And, while I hope she doesn’t run for president, I was moved and I learned something. It’s worth a watch.
Hope is Evident
Factoid for you – there are currently MoveOn.org members in all 3,007 U.S. counties EXCEPT three – McPherson & Blaine Counties in Nebraska and Kenedy County in Texas. This came to me on Friday – maybe it’s already changed!? And, an inspiring recap of 2017 and look ahead at 2018 with Anna Galland of MoveOn.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King Jr.