The Wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

This being February, which is also Black History Month here in America, I thought it would be timely to recall and apply the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King. He was a man for the ages, a preacher whom God raised up and anointed.

"In the final analysis, says the Christian ethic, every man must be respected because God loves him. The worth of an individual does not lie in the measure of his intellect, his racial origin, or his social position. Human worth lies in relatedness to God. An individual has value because he has value to God. Whenever this is recognized, "whiteness" and "blackness" pass away as determinants in a relationship and "son" and "brother" are substituted." --The Ethical Demands, Dec, 1962.

"Recognizing the necessity for suffering I have tried to make of it a virtue. If only to save myself from bitterness, I have attempted to see my personal ordeals as an opportunity to transform myself and heal the people involved in the tragic situation which now obtains. I have lived these last few years with the conviction that unearned suffering is redemptive. There are some who still find the cross a stumbling block, and others consider it foolishness, but I am more convinced than ever before that it is the power of God unto social and individual salvation." --Pilgrimage To Nonviolence, April, 1960.

"We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization. There is still a voice crying out in terms that echo across the generations, saying: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you, that you may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven...This love might well be the salvation of our civilization..." --Facing The Challenge Of A New Day, Dec, 1956.

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places shall be made plain and the crooked places shall be made straight and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together..." --I Have A Dream, Aug, 1963.

The preceding quotes were taken from A Testament of Hope, edited by James M. Washington. My prayer is that we who call ourselves Americans would help fulfill the vision of Dr. King in our generation, that love would find its voice and its power to heal our land.