Courage

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Courage

“Courage is what preserves our liberty, safety, life, and our homes and parents, our country and children.  Courage comprises all things.”

Plautus

For as long as I can remember, every Monday morning, I think of a subject that I want to focus on in the coming week.  I never know exactly what it will be in advance, but the ideas seem to materialize on their own; although, I rather think they come from listening to the pulse of our global world.  We live in a highly interconnected planet where the stories, photos, and videos carry messages from one side to the other with the swiftness of what was once considered science fiction.

Today, my thought was “courage.”  The world is full of courageous people who are, at this very moment, facing difficult circumstances in their struggle to overcome inequality and oppression.  We admire and applaud the remarkable courage demonstrated in times of danger and conflict.  But courage, most often takes on a more subtle guise, so as to be mistaken as ordinary or overlooked altogether.

This week, I want to explore the meaning of courage within our daily interactions. Courage is defined as the capacity to do something that frightens you, the ability or quality of dealing with or facing danger, fear, pain, and the resolve to act in accordance with your value and belief system. Perhaps, courage brings us the closest to understanding the nature of our humanity.

“If we are to survive, we must have ideas, vision and courage.  These things are rarely produced by committees.  Everything that matters in our intellectual and moral life begins with an individual confronting his own mind and conscience in a room by himself.”

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

I Have a Dream

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I Have a Dream

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

On January 21, 2013, the world celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.   There are those individuals that transcend national boundaries and speak to the hope of humanity.  Martin Luther King, Jr., an American clergyman, activist, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, was such an individual. He delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech at the celebrated 1963 March on Washington.  His message was about fairness, justice and, above all, equality.

This week, I want to explore the state of being equal as we understand it within the human experience. Equality can be assessed on quantity, degree, value, rank or ability.  In the end, it is about placing value on life itself.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

An Activist on Peace

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Peace on Earth

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement.  He was strongly influenced by Howard Thurman, an educator and civil rights leader who had met and conferred with Mahatma Ghandi in earlier years.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was inspired by Gandhi’s approach to seeking peaceful solutions via non-violent means.

Martin Luther King, Jr. used non-violence to combat racial inequality, poverty, and the Vietnam War.  His message – harmony could only be achieved through peaceful endeavours.  With all his heart, he believed peace could be a reality – it was within reach.

Peace on earth begins with unarmed truth and unconditional love.