Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I was looking up quotes by him and was so inspired. Here we are, so many years after that tragic day, and his words still ring true. Whether you agree with him or not, and really how could you not when all he really cared about, talked about, was striving for, and preached about were the principles of doing the right thing, equality for all, peace between nations and our fellow men and women, and love. Love being the chief message. Love instead of hate, peace instead of war, freedom instead of constraint and imprisonment, solving problems via understanding and communication instead of through violence. A spectacular man.
Here are some of my most favorite of the quotes I found…
At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
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.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other. ― Martin Luther King Jr.
This is something I wrote on the plane ride over to the U.K. a couple of weeks ago. Tried to post it when we landed and couldn’t, then with all the business of getting here and such I forgot about it, until today. I re-read it, liked it a lot, and so am posting it now. It’s relevent, anytime really….
December 10, 1:20 AM, Pacific time
Sun coming up over the Atlantic. Traveling in this plane, just having woken up from a nap laying across two seats and Karen (a miracle in and of itself). Taking pictues with my phone out the window and listening to the Hip (80) playlist on the ipod on my phone. Bose quiet canceling headphones on. The world is a beautiful place.
I’m having one of those moments… So filled with gratitude and wonder and love. So much love I feel like this smaller body of mine might not be able to hold it all in. Overflowing out of me as teardrops falling down my face. It’s so quiet in here right now. All these people sleeping, watching the movie or listening to their own music. All these people going somewhere…. To see someone they love, like we are, or to see somewhere new, or just making the journey home. And here we all are together, on this plane winging our way across the Atlantic as the sun comes up. I’m listening to Good Life right now, and it really is a good good life. Thank you thank you thank you thank you….
As most people in our lives know, Karen was very very sick in late November and early December. She spent 6 days in a critic care unit at Sunnyside Hospital. It was a very scary experience for both of us. Nothing is worse than being so sick or watching someone you love be so sick, and not being able to just will them to get better. It was terrifying actually. Then… she got better. It was wonderful. And the reason she got better was because of the great work of the people at the hospital. They did their jobs well and they did them with grace and by truly caring for Karen as their patient.
A couple of weeks ago I sent a letter/email to the nurse manager of the unit Karen was on. I’d kept a list of all the people who worked with Karen during her time there and wanted to let the management know, and the staff themselves, how much their work mattered to us. How much it meant. How much we appreciated them and how grateful we were.
I thought to myself… you know, people don’t say a genuine thank you enough. They just don’t. We aren’t always the most considerate of a species. We should be. We should say thank you when someone does a great job waiting the table or pumping the gas (for all you Oregonian’s out there) or giving us a smile as they check our groceries at the store. We should say thank you when we are treated with kindness and a smile at the doctor’s office or when someone we don’t know holds the door for us. We should appreciate these things. We should smile. We shouldn’t take it all for granted.
Everyone is quick to get testy. To be annoyed. To judge, to make fun of, to rant about what they see as little slights. We tend to be so negative as a people. Why is that?
I say let’s get on the happy train. Sounds silly? It’s not. Let’s start noticing what’s right and beautiful and worth while in the world. Let’s concentrate on that. Let’s be awed and inspired and thankful.
I’m not saying we should ignore what’s wrong or put up with things we shouldn’t. I’m just saying we ALSO need to notice what’s good and honest and wonderful. Beautiful gracious things happen every day. People do things every day that are helpful and caring. So let’s concentrate on that. Put our focus there. Notice. I wonder what would happen. I wonder what would happen if when we looked up and around we saw the trees moving in the wind and the smile on a mother’s face as she talked to her child and how lovely it is to just be here, alive, living… being happy in this moment. I wonder what would happen if we all did it…. if we all noticed… how the world might change for the better. We need to celebrate our spirit our tenacity our willingness to step in for each other and our caring selves. It’s a wonderful place, this world is. Wonderful things happen all the time. It would be a place of even greater wonder if we all just considered being a bit more considerate.
Liz, fellow angle and rock star human being, shared this with a few of us today at the office. This is one of the coolest, most inspiring, videos I’ve seen. Ever. If this doesn’t make you feel good about being alive, living on this planet, and getting to share the human experience every day, I don’t know what will. Take a listen and then head to the Playing For Change website to check out other videos and support this fantastic movement/cause.
I read this quote today in the Sierra Club’s Daily Ray of Hope e-mail. I loved it and thought I’d share.
The forests are the flags of nature. They appeal to all and awaken inspiring universal feelings. Enter the forest and the boundaries of nations are forgotten. It may be that some time an immortal pine will be the flag of a united peaceful world.
– Enos A. Mills