Monday, January 16, 2012

"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see."

The title of this post could be the first line from any best-selling novel. But it's not: it's a favorite quote from a man honored today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

And here's another quote:  Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

I know, right?

And one more: A lie cannot live. Four words: simple, and profound. However, (and of course) the most enduring images and sounds of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life come from his "I Have A Dream" speech, the speech that inspired a nation, delivered at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963. Clarence Jones helped draft the speech that day, and he was standing a few feet away when King spoke.

The 1,651 word speech--for those obsessed with word counts--introduces powerful, sensical ideology, including: Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.  Let us not, indeed.
The power of Dr. King's speech is a testament to the strength of writing, and how a well turned phrase can inspire action, and incite change. It shows us that words can change the world.

But probably, my favorite quote from Dr. King is this: Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

True, our life is a series of steps, filled with tall risers that can block light, and alter our view. Wise Dr. King reminds us, even today, that we must have faith in life, in ourselves, and in our people. And in the power of words.