Dear Annie: Again, it is time to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. He would have been 91 on Jan. 15. Since his death in 1968, so much has changed ... and yet, so much has remained the same.
Sometimes, I wonder, if he were alive, what would King think about how things have gone in the African American community? What would he say? What would he do?
I am sure that King would encourage us to resolve the social and economic challenges that buffet us. He would remind us of individual responsibility, family stability, group cohesion and collective empowerment. And he would remind us that many of the answers and solutions lie within us as a people.
King also would encourage us to show a willingness to know something, to be smart, to be curious and to be willing to learn and accomplish a lot more. While the world we inhabit may not be fair or just, we must be willing to try, and try, and try. We must learn to give life our utmost effort and perform at our maximum capacity.
If King were alive, he would stress the need for building a foundation of empowerment for teaching individuals, families and communities how to tap the power within, rather than depending on handouts and the goodwill of others. Accordingly, he would emphasize the importance of family as the original and best departments of health, education, welfare and salvation.
Overall, King would motivate and encourage us to put our minds and backs into the obstacles and barriers before us.
Although King is not alive, his teachings, sacrifices and contributions will always be with us. Therefore, let us draw from his legacy and achieve his "dream" for all of us. What a great way to show respect and appreciation for the man. — Reflecting on King's Legacy
Dear Reflecting: Thank you for your beautiful tribute.
Dear Readers: Martin Luther King had immense wisdom is his advocacy of nonviolent change. He knew that the most important thing for living a just, peaceful and fulfilled life is love.
May all of you feel love in your hearts as you read through the following handful of quotes that show King's insights, kindness and leadership:
—"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
—"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."
—"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education."
—"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."
—"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality ... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."
—"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]