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TODAY is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s REAL Birthday!

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John Eyster
January 15, 2012

TODAY is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s REAL Birthday!

GRATEFUL to Eugene Robinson, OpEd columnist, Washington Post, for his reminder that Martin Luther King, Jr. would be ONLY 83 today IF he had lived! I appreciated his assertion that IF he were still living, “He would be an elder statesman now, a lion in winter, an American hero perhaps impatient with the fuss being made over his birthday. At 83, he’d likely still have his wits and his voice. Surely, if he were able, he would continue to preach, to pray — and to dream.” I wish he were still alive with his wits and his voice continuing to preach, to pray and to dream. Do YOU?

IF you were at the commemoration event for MLK at Blackhawk Technical College yesterday, YOU are already alert to the fact that TODAY (Sun., 1/15) is MLK's REAL Birthday. You know that MLK was characterized as a "daydreamer." IF you were not there, you will want to read Neil Johnson's informative article, "Dream on: Crowd celebrates life of great 'daydreamer' King" in today's Janesville Gazette. (I am not allowed to provide a link.)

Neil provides information about the formation of the Beloit/Janesville Gospel Choir directed by Carol Hendrix of Beloit. The choir is reported to have been practicing after school at Beloit HS for 2 years. Early last week, Hendrix reports that half-dozen Janesville high school students joined the choir making it officially the Beloit/Janesville Gospel Choir! YES!

GRATITUDE to NEIL JOHNSON for such a very meaningful and informative article!

If you want to review MLK’s biography, I suggest Wikipedia’s article, “Martin Luther King, Jr.”

To reflect on the significance of MLK’s life today, I encourage you to read Robinson’s column “Martin Luther King and the dream that came true.”

Robinson’s statement rejuvenated the AUDACITY of HOPE for me, “In these sour, pessimistic times, it is important to remember the great lesson of King’s remarkable life: Impossible dreams can come true.” Does that encourage YOU too?

As you review and assess the message of King, I think it is important to be mindful of Robinson’s assertion, “His is not a partisan message; King was every bit as tough on Democrats as Republicans. His activism even transcended ideology. His call for social justice and his opposition to the Vietnam War were rightly seen as liberal, but his insistence on the primacy of faith and family was deeply conservative. His birthday is a national holiday because his words and deeds ennoble us all.”

For inspiration, I suggest you visit “The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.”

Reading through the resources there, I was more and more GRATEFUL for the life of MLK! In fact, I chose to make a B-day gift to MLK through a donation to the Center. IF you want to make a B-day gift via the Center too, the URL directly to donate is: “MLK Center for Nonviolent Social Change – Donate.” HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR!

Tomorrow – MLK Federal Holiday – Monday, January 16, 2012 – WE THE PEOPLE of WI have opportunity to celebrate King’s life at our WI State Capitol at NOON. The ceremony will be the 32nd annual MLK ceremony. IF you are not able to be there, it will be on WI Public television! For details, use this link to WPT’s “MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY.”

Even if you are at the ceremony in person tomorrow, I think you would value looking through the ARCHIVES of MLK DAY through the years available online. Check the website using the link above.

I needed Robinson’s reminder with historical perspective of the polarization of our society, “Thinking about King’s legacy reminds me that this is hardly the first time our society has been bitterly divided and fearful of an uncertain future. When he led the 1963 March on Washington and gave his indelible 'I Have a Dream' speech, many Southern whites, including officials, were still determined to resist racial integration by any means necessary. Many black Americans were fed up, no longer willing to wait patiently for the rights promised them under the Constitution.” I urge you to read the continuing discussion with its healthy perspective which Robinson brings to our attention today as we prepare for our Federal MLK Holiday tomorrow.

THANKS again to Robinson for his AUDACITY of HOPE articulated as he continued reflecting on King’s life and memory, “I consider myself fortunate that, when I’m feeling pessimistic about all of this, I’m able to visit the new King memorial that was dedicated in October. The towering statue of King looks out toward the Jefferson Memorial, which honors the man whose stirring words now apply to all Americans, not just a few. Behind King is the Lincoln Memorial, a tribute to a leader who shepherded the nation through days much darker than these.”

Robinson asserts that his response on his first visit to the King memorial was, “We can be better. We must. We will.” I have the AUDACITY of HOPE that we can be better… we must… we will… what do YOU hope?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR! I am among those who thank God for your life! What a blessing for WE THE PEOPLE of the USA and the whole wide world!

Here we go…

Mr. E.



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