Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is one of my favourite heroes. His prophetic voice for justice, righteousness and equality for all ethnic groups still strikes a chord today. Truth is timeless. His stand for what is right and true impacted me as an immigrant kid decades later. This is my tribute to the giant of a man, though not without imperfection, who led a movement of peaceful resistance that was inspired by Jesus Christ and in part, Gandhi’s philosophy of peaceful activism.
His radical words in that era on equality and justice still apply today to elderly survivors of Japanese military sex slavery (otherwise known as ‘comfort women’), for Korean and minorities in Japan, for impoverished women and children, victims of human trafficking and slavery et al.
I have a dream that the Japanese military sex slave survivors in Korea, China, Netherlands, Philippines etc. will finally get justice in the form of an unequivocal, official apology from the Japanese government and a commitment to teach the younger generation about human rights abuses its military committed in Asia before and during WWII.
I have a dream that sex slavery and human trafficking will be a thing of the past. I have a dream that racism and poverty will be eradicated from the face of the earth; that peace will reign between North and South Korea and in the Middle East. Oh, let it be! That the impossible would be possible.
Here are some quotes from this great man:
“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
“Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
His historic “I have a dream” speech:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Happy Martin Luther King Day! I hope you find one thing to do that will inspire peace and love in others.