Today is Martin Luther King, JR Day, a national holiday in the United States honoring the sacrifice, achievement and influence of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fight to stand up for equal treatment for all races and to end racism.
Simply put, this man was responsible for leading the way of the civil rights movement.
Now I know there are parts of our country, especially in the south, where racism still runs a little deep. But gone are the days of segregation in schools, restaurants and public establishments. I’m thankful for President LBJ for signing the Civil Rights Bill into law after JFK was assinated. This was a huge step!
However, I travel all over the world and racism is alive and well in many forms. It’s not a black and white thing.
It’s a Muslim – Hindu – Christian – Jewish thing. It’s a my tribe – your tribe thing. It’s a Black – Coloured – Asian – Hispantic thing. It’s a have’s – have not’s thing.
And it goes on and on. Simply put, if you could put the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s model into any situation, you would find that situation somewhere in the world… and the fight, the prejudice, would have been going on for generations and generations. Hundreds of years even.
To be honest with you, it’s mind numbing to think about when you see it happening first hand and it makes me angry when I hear about the genocide… that is still taking place in this world!!!
Rwanda happened. Darfur is still happening. Syria is crazy.
We are seeing this played out day after day in the news, on twitter and on facebook and yet for most of us, it slides on by as fast as our twitter stream scrolls through the golden globes.
But in every country around the world, there’s someone that has a dream for their people to be accepted by all people. It’s possible and dreams do come true.
So I ask you, when you think through what MLK day is really all about, what dream are you going to stand up for that fights for the equality of others in your life? That fights for the rights of those in your life that need a voice? What are you going to do when your heart lands on information that could help someone else around the world?
Sometimes, standing up for what is right is not popular. You might lose friends over it. You might even lose your life over it.
The kids and I have been talking about MLK and since their family is from India, we talk about the importance of men like Gandhi. How could such a peaceful non violent man have such an amazing impact on the world? He stood up for what he believed in. He dreamed over a better place for everyone. It’s not a far fetched idea.
What’s important for me is to be able to tell our kids, they have an opportunity everyday to stand up for what is right. To stand up for those who get bullied in school and to stand up, speak up for their friends who need a friend by their side.
We need more people in the world paving the way for someone else to succeed. We have them. I know we do.
These people are just a few we can see in public, but there are hundreds… thousands of others fighting for what they stand for who we don’t ever hear about.
So today, stand for something. Add it to your life as a non negotiable.
Have an opinion.
Take a stand.
You never know, you might inspire someone else to do the same.
Wouldn’t that be cool?
What dream are you standing for today?