Monday, January 21, 2008

Flawed Greatness

Since my youth I have admired the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When I was a teen he was an iconic figure, promoted to sainthood. As the years have gone by we have learned that he was a human being, wracked by doubt at times, prone to infidelity. He has even been accused of plagarism in his doctoral thesis. For all these possible failings he was a great and godly man whose commitment to peaceful change is an example to us all. Today commemorates King's memory in a public holiday in the United States.The thoughts below come from the Seattle Times.

Martin Luther King Jr. has now been dead longer than he lived. But what an extraordinary life it was. At 33, he was pressing the case of civil rights with President John Kennedy. At 34, he galvanized the nation with his "I Have a Dream" speech. At 35, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. At 39, he was assassinated, but he left a legacy of hope and inspiration that continues today.

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.

Martin Luther King Jr.

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