Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day is a national Federal Holiday that is observed to remember the greatest asset of American Civil Rights Movement accomplishment of the 1960s, of which MLK was the iconic and brave leader who paid the ultimate-highest price of the movement by his assassination on April 4th 1968 at age 39. MLK day was passed by the United States Congress and signed into a law by President Ronald Reagan on November 2nd 1983 and first MLK day was observed on January 20th 1986; 1992 President George H. Bush decreed the holiday to be observed on every third Monday of the moth of January of each year, which is near the date and month of his birthday (January 15, 1929(1929-01-15)); whereby, by January 17th of 2000 all fifty states in the union officially enacted MLK Day as their official State Holiday and it was celebrated national-wide for the first time.
MLK Jr. Is the Great man who is constantly reminding us all that the promise granted to us, human beings, since Adam & Eve, free-will, is still the highest prize of life under the sun; and America has proven itself that it is the shining city on the hill. "Yes we can" and yes "I've a dream" call is alive. What this day reminds us all is that MLK was selfless man. After he graduated his PHD, MLK Jr. could have done just fine and lived better life serving as senior pastor of the Baptist Church in New York City with a lot of personal benefits, if he had accepted the offer. But the MLK Jr. had a greater vision than just been a senior pastor of the inner city New York City church. In stead, he chose to become a pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, much smaller and widely marginalized city than NYC. There he serves the greatest call of his soul defending equality to all, social justice equality, desegregation and respect for humanity; not only to Americans but all human kind.
The great call of his soul articulated his God given resources and talents that identified him with the Civil Right Movement that largely identified as none-violent movement; and for that he became the iconic and the greatest symbol of the movement and its success. The use of none violent and forging ahead without hesitance so that we all can live free in pursuing our happiness was the powerful message that none-resistance and boycotting of key public services that leaders uses to measure their publicity and electivity was the painful test the segregated south and inactive Federal system ever endured; and only to enact and implement Civil Rights Act could alleviate such painful test to leaders and segregated south. Thank God that President Lyndon Johnson, on July 2nd of 1964, signed the Civil Rights Act on the law. This was one of the MLK’s successes to humanity when the movement cashed in installment of the promissory note of our founders’ Declaration of Independency; for such magnitude of his selfless, that’s why today we’re celebrating his day, near his birthday.
I think this day should remind us all to question what is it we are standing for? And what is our contribution to the society that we are living? Do we meet the tests and challenges that we are facing? This day should be a soul searching day and a day to learn that we are here today because someone, our fore-fathers and founders, gave up something that they could use as their own personal leisure, in stead to make our living and our world a better place. The question is that are we doing the same for the coming generation? Or we are just mortgaging our future generations? If we are not doing what our founders did for us, then why? We can learn from MLK by his examples such as the match to Washington DC, Montgomery-Alabama Bus boycott, Alabama-Georgia movement, Birmingham-Alabama campaign, Bloody Sunday and his last standing on humanity on his last day in Memphis TN, when Campaigning for Poor People equality as viable members of inclusive society. We cannot mimic MLK because he was unique human being as we all are, but what we can do is doing the right-thing, and that is for all of us to be responsible and hard working individuals who can claim a peace of American pie in our unique ways. That is our contribution to the society because society needs us all as we are all having different input in our own unique ways.
For example we are in the persisting global economic recession that is hitting home harder than ever in our times. Based on the news and some formal and informal reports, the major cause of this recessions is human greedy on the steroids. The home industry downfall is characterized by both greedy by financial institutions (employees/leaders) and by borrowers (home-owners and consumers). The financial industries were so greedy by just looking at the dollar sign for that moment without using standards that a person cant pay the mortgage if his/her income does not have a 20% saving after paying all his/her bills. Therefore this person should never have approved to buy a home because he/she can’t afford a home without meeting the standardized Mortgage calculator, based on the Calculating Income of Employed W2 Borrowers for Mortgage Qualifying standards. These institutions were very shortsighted on sub-prime loans because the interest guarantees were very short-lived, unlike traditional mortgages that were about 30 years. Also the borrowers were shortsighted because they took these massive loans that they could not afford in the long run. To make the matters worse, the sub-prime loans interests were only guaranteed for a very short period of time with very high risk that interest could be doubled or high and that could change the equation of affording the mortgage. Especially for the low-income families/home owners, when interests rose, the already stressed income due to mortgage were crushed by massive interests increase and make it totally impossible to afford mortgage payments. In results, when recession hit, the entire housing industry came into a total calamity and shrunk the middle-class.
MLK fight for poverty and equal justice then is so real today than ever, because Wall-Street greedy is legal and no one is responsible for such massive wasteful spending by government and the greedy. To understand Wall-Street greedy you have to watch the “Wall-Street” movie or be one of the foreclosed houses in this housing market today. But good news is that Free-markets is the good thing that sustains human middle-class and equality for all; but we need good policies that can sustain free-markets and open-up more opportunities by investing here at home. This was not possible for the past 3 years because greedy has affected politicians as well, they can’t agree on anything, that’s why you see Congress approval rating is as low as a toddler’s age. I wander if I ask the Congress that if my mommy is a woman or a man, if they can come into their senses and give correct answer? I guess people will speak and vote this November and hand down decisions.
I believe that MLK day can and still remind us all as member of the community that our action, passively and actively, can make or break our life and or lives of others. It is our responsibilities and obligations to do the right thing and that starts right at you as a person then will trickle down to the society at large. That is MLK’s dream on his “I have a dream” speech and my favorite quote of all the time states that “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.” Read more of his quotes on the link bellow.