A couple quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. on this day that honors him (sorry in advance for the ‘soapbox’):
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
The value of hard work will be rewarded – In my opinion one of the biggest issues that our country is facing right now is that people have forgotten this. We are not all destined for ‘great’ things in the sense the ‘world’ thinks of greatness. Unfortunately, we all can’t be athletes, musicians or CEOs. In the words of the immortal Judge Smails (Caddyshack) – ‘The world needs ditch diggers too’ and no matter what it is we are destined for we should take pride in the task at hand and do it to the best of our ability.
“I have a dream that my four little 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 their character.”
While I think, for the most part, bigotry/racism (at least in the open) is long past us in the United States of America there is still a lot of prejudging that takes place on a day to day basis and thus I think this quote will forever have merit. For example, just recently an article came out about the 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and how his tattoos make him look like a San Quentin inmate more than a CEO. Now, I don’t have any tattoos but can’t help but think the reporter rushed to judgment quite quickly on the type of person he is just based on how much ink he has. The quote from MLK in today’s aspect should take it a step further from just race but rather from all people – white, black, Indian, Latino, Asian, etc… – to go outside of their comfort zone and continue to recognize that we are all in this ‘melting pot’ together. We are all going to be different and rather than staying separated through those differences we should come together and celebrate those differences recognizing how great it is not to be clones of one another.
On the flip side of this coin is another news story that annoyed me over the weekend and that was how the NFL is expanding the “Rooney Rule” because no African American coaches were hired for head coaching vacancies. If we are going to get past the race thing in this nation than I think we have to not look at it as a white/black thing anymore. There is no way that NFL owners – with the amount of money that is on the line – are concerned with the race of their coaches. They are concerned about the green coming in their pocket and if you were to throw a green martian on the sideline who could coach up some football players, win some football games, sell some tickets, etc…. they’d hire them. Now of course that isn’t to say that there aren’t any qualified African American coaches but this round through the hiring cycle the owners went in other directions not because of race but because they liked what the other guys said better.
Photo of the Day – MLK Jr Memorial in Washington DC
Opened 48 years after Dr. King’s stirring “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC welcomes another great leader to the National Mall. A visit to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a must-see on any trip to the nation’s capital. The memorial is situated on a four-acre site along the Tidal Basin, adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and sharing a direct line of sight between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. It is open daily, with park rangers on site from 8 a.m. to midnight.
The centerpiece of the memorial is a 30-foot statue of Dr. King. His likeness is carved into the Stone of Hope, which emerges powerfully from two large boulders. The two boulders, which started as one, represent the Mountain of Despair. The boulders are split in half to give way to the Stone of Hope, which appears to have been thrust forward toward the horizon in a great monolithic struggle. The Stone of Hope and the Mountain of Despair together represent the soul-stirring words from Dr. King’s history-making “I Have a Dream” speech. On the visible side of the Stone of Hope, the text from King’s famed 1963 speech is cut sharply into the rock: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” On the other side are inscribed these words: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness,” a statement suggested by Dr. King himself when describing how he would like to be remembered. Every visitor enters through the Mountain of Despair and tours the memorial as if moving through the struggle that Dr. King faced during his life. Visitors end in the open freedom of the plaza. The solitary Stone of Hope stands proudly in the plaza, where the civil rights leader gazes over the Tidal Basin toward the horizon, forever encouraging all citizens to strive for justice and equality.
Thanks to Washington.org for the text above on the monument