This is my favorite Martin Luther King quote. Always has been, always will be. Every MLK I post it and just sit and think about what the world would be like if people lived by this sentiment. Or if people actually took his powerful words to heart and actually made his dream come true.
I remember in 9th grade US Civics class, we studied the history of MLK – the riots and inner-city wars that took place during this time. We’d see pictures in our textbooks and watch old black and white videos of footage of the horrible segregation that took place. It made my stomach physically hurt and I’d go home to do my homework on the subject with such a sick feeling.
This same feeling washed over me as I watched “The Help”. I cried just as hard as Mae did when Aibileen was forced to leave her. Not only because crying children always make me cry (remember Bernice crying as her father left in ‘Hope Floats’??…still crying from that one), but because my heart broke that these things actually happened and that this time was actually real in our nation’s history. I called my momma and asked if that’s really how it was back then. She was young during this time, but slightly remembered the day to day ins and outs of basic segregation. I knew that while the movie was fiction, it was based on actual events. I couldn’t wrap my head around people living and acting like this, but to hear my momma confirm it, brought such a sad realization. I was newly pregnant and more than anything, it broke my heart to think that I was bringing a child into this world that has a history of such hate and discrimination.
Then I watched the movie “42” with my husband when it came out to rent. With every derogatory comment, racial slur and unfair treatment that Jackie Robinson faced, my heart broke a little more. The movie was SO good – but when it was over I was left with another broken heart. I had a new baby by this time and was again reminded that he’d read and watch and learn about these oppressive, shameful, and actual events.
I’m thankful to have been born in a more accepting time. A time where everyone is free to vote, sit where they want and be employed equally. I’m thankful that one of my best friend’s from middle school is STILL one of my best friends – who I have countless good memories with, who was a part of my wedding, and who has never been treated any different by society than I have regardless of the color of his skin.
Cohen is still too young to understand the severity and importance of this day and what MLK stood for. However, from the moment we found out I was pregnant, we have made a point to instill in him that EVERYONE is created equal. Regardless of race, gender, sexuality, and anything else that could possibly sway someone’s judgment on another human being, we are ALL God’s children and we should look at everyone the way that He looks at us – just the same. It upset me to know that one day he’ll have to take that history class and watch movies based on this time and events – but it brings me comfort to know that he will be part of the change in this world. Part of the reason that things aren’t that way anymore. I know we’re FAR from living the dream that Dr. King spoke of, but I’m honored to play a small part in helping to make that dream a reality one day – and hopefully one day soon.
“I have decided to STICK WITH LOVE. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – MLK