Dr. Martin Luther King Day – Peace, Freedom, & Smiles

Martin Luther King in Chicago

Today “The Chicago Files” turns to a more serious topic than those normally posted.

It is “Martin Luther King Day” here in the US.  To most Canadians, Dr. Martin Luther King is an iconic figure that fought for the civil rights of African-Americans.  Not a lot is said or written about him in Canada (at least to my knowledge), but yet there is a collective understanding among Canadians that what Dr. King stood for was right and true.  Perhaps this is a simplistic way of putting it on my part, but there is a reason for it.  I see it as a nod of agreement; yes, there is no need to explain that which is correct.

Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, GA.  The picture above was taken when Dr. King visited Chicago in 1966.  He came to Chicago often to assist local leaders in the civil rights movement.

I am in awe of the work that Dr. King accomplished.  Each time I hear his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963 in Washington, DC, I get goosebumps and a lump in my throat.  His words resonate so deeply, and I cannot help but be so incredibly grateful for his astonishingly courageous and honorable spirit.  If you have never heard this speech, I encourage you to please look it up; it is one of the most powerful speeches I have ever heard.

To me, as a Canadian living in Chicago, I am reminded every day how vitally important it is to show each person I meet that we are all beings cut from the same cosmic cloth, as it were.  By that I mean we come from the same source; we are all connected whether we can wrap our human brains around this, I’m not so sure.  The feeling, ah yes, the feeling that comes from simply acting in kindness, compassion, and treating everyone with respect and dignity.  As I (unfortunately) on occasion bear witness to a word or an act that does not represent any of these things, it only strengthens my conviction to look for ways to show them even more.  Sometimes it is simply opening a door for someone, or a smile to a passerby, which is sometimes looked upon with suspicion; sad, but true.

This does not discourage me in anyway, shape, or smile *grin*.  It merely invigorates my resolve to show people, as Dr. King so eloquently noted and I paraphrase here: that individuals not be judged on the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

I hope today, wherever you inhabit the planet, that you will take pause and focus your awareness on that which is so becoming of you, as a fellow human being, to remember your connectedness with all who share the planet with you.

Martin Luther King I have a dream speech

 

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