A few quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., perhaps the brightest star of 20th Century America:
- “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
- “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
- “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
- “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
- “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
We face a very different world today than the one King addressed during his shockingly brief lifetime. And the issues we discuss on Sheepshead Bites are, obviously, of far less import than those King wrestled with. But the wisdom of his words resonates through every level of society; they beckon to the very nature of man, pleading with us to do better, to be better.
Here, in Sheepshead Bay, amidst the curses, spite and suspicion of neighbors; the selfishness-begets-selfishness mentality; the cynicism and the helplessness and all that squawk that, at times, makes living here so tedious and burdensome – it behooves us to remember King’s words and his ideals. Do better and be better – moreso in the face of evil, greed and injustice – and the world will change to reflect you. Don’t, and you’ll reflect the world and all its darkness.
Have a happy MLK day, and remember his message in all that you do.