Here in the States, we’re celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
This means kids get the day off school, banks and government offices are closed, there’s no post, and we’re all bound to hear part of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at some point, on the radio, in the newspaper, on tv. Many people also use the day to volunteer in their communities to make it a “day on” rather than a “day off” to honor the man, and there are certainly events going on around the country that remember King for more than just his most famous speech.
It’s a regular work day for us at HQ this year, so I’m afraid the extent of my formal commemoration today will probably just be catching someone quoting from “I Have a Dream” over the radio. My favorite moment of the speech isn’t actually anything King says, although I do find his words moving no matter how many times I’ve heard them. My favorite part is in the background, if you’re listening to a recording of the speech, just before King reaches the most famous parts, just before he leaves his prepared speech. A woman, Mahalia Jackson, shouts, “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” And so he does.
For my informal commemoration then, today I’m thinking about all the people who egg us on in life, all the people that call us out, all the people who push us forward. Thanks.
And keep it up. We have a long way to go.