“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” —MLK Jr.
There are leaders. Quiet warriors, driven to protect, to serve, to fight for the underdogs, to exemplify all that is red, and white and blue. Educated, inspirational, hard working, determined, selfless, empathic, and kind. Kindness, maybe fundamental kindness, is the unsung characteristic of a true leader.
In a day where we are faced with our own leaders filled with hate, destruction, corruption, contempt, lies and laziness, it is today, this weekend, that is important to recognize those who have led, who have actually struggled, who looked fear in the eye and stared back unwilling to let hate win and conquer a people who have the potential to be so good, to be so brave, to trail blaze the living fuck out of the wrong this world is filled with today.
Remember this month, as we face a true mockery of American leadership, undeserving leadership, lacking qualifications, morals and the ability to unite our country that has not been as divided as it is at this very moment in a very, very long time. Remember, there are leaders who have faced imprisonment, defamation and ultimately, death–all in the name of fighting for what is right in this world, for patriotism.
These men, Martin Luther King Jr., our most recent President, and many, many others, they carried on with a quiet selflessness and courage that I hope my children will always remember, embody and continue in their own lives. These are the men that I want my boys to know rose up and faced challenges head on, united people, lit sparks of hope that could not be put out, and asked for nothing in return, not fame, not fortune, and certainly not thanks. These are who I want my boys to know.
We are better than what we are about to witness take over this month. We are better than hate, and venom, and the incitement of fear and the bullying. We are Americans, we have risen from the ashes of those seeking to destroy us, and we will do it again. It is sad that this moment in time is unique in that the destruction comes from within our borders, in our own House, from people we hoped we could trust.
The circumstances, we cannot change those. But the future, we can, and we will, and we will all be better people for it.
The spark that MLK Jr ignited in 1963 with I Have a Dream, burns on. It’s up to us to ensure it lights new flames filled with optimism and hope, and that it never, ever goes out.
You were one of a kind, MLK, and you will be remembered forever.