I interned at Seattle Children’s Theatre 10 years ago, and I was there when they premiered a play called, “When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Get Some Big Words.” (a quote from MLK,jr when he was a little kid). I loved it & saw it over and over again (not common when it comes to me and theatre). I had to work at the desk on weekends, and they had all these MLK books there– I read all of them cover to cover. The play itself included reenactments, speeches, etc & was brilliantly acted–but the reading is what gave me a new understanding of his genius. His speeches were beautiful! And some of them are of course so well known & those are great, but I loved coming across the sermons, letters, speeches I wasn’t so familiar with. I highly recommend the book “The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr” of writing ,sermons, speeches selected by his wife.
His legacy is of course much more than a list of quotes, but here are some that stuck with me today:
“Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody.”
“The tough mind is sharp and penetrating, breaking through the crust of legends and myths and sifting the true from the false. The tough-minded individual is astute and discerning. He has a strong austere quality that makes for firmness of purpose and solidness of commitment.
Who doubts that this toughness is one of man’s greatest needs? 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.”
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
I hope you have the day off to celebrate, if not, your company probably hates black people! (jk, jk).