As I took the old calendar down and secured the new one in its place, I couldn't help but feel that certain aspects of life never seem to change, despite how swiftly time passes by. So commercial the holidays have become and so plastic the tokens. Then in a desperate search for some true substance my eyes fell upon that little square marked Jan. 18--the federal commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
Surely, this was enough incentive to draw a positive attitude from for the rest of the year. The phrase that most frequently comes to mind when I think of him is, "If I could help somebody along the way, then surely my living will not be in vain."
This one man literally spent his lifetime trying to make the whole world more humane for all mankind, yet some of us consider his birthday as nothing more than another three-day weekend. However, in all actuality it would take not only days or months, but unfortunately for a lot of us years to even begin to think as he thought, live as he lived, and give as he still gives through countless channels as a force that strong never really dies.
Yet, just as his dreams live on so do many of the injustices which he protested. We say a lot of "amens" and "right ons" at the annual tributes held during the months of January and February, but what messages are our hearts truly conveying?
Is it love when we cannot bring ourselves to shake the hand of an AIDS victim? Is it brotherhood when our public figures are still voicing racial slurs? Is it fair when homeless families must seek shelter in cardboard boxes? Is it character to spend the whole year trying to add to the list of luxuries rather than seek more meaning to our lives?
Perhaps an appropriate New Year's resolution would be to help somebody, somewhere, soon along the way so our living will not be in vain.