A few words from Dr. King

My one misgiving about the title of this blog is that it implies that this is a transitional stage, that one day the world will be "fully changed."  I’m not sure I believe that.  Some days I think that it’s inevitable, that the old attitudes are dying out with the generations that believed them; other days I think there are three steps back for every two steps forward.  (Two recent studies on hiring and marriage preferences, using undergrads as their research subjects, were especially disillusioning.)

Since it’s Martin Luther King Day, I thought I’d share a piece of one my favorite King sermons:

"As you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of general and panoramic view of the whole human hisotry up to now, and the Almighty said to me, "Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?" — I would take my mental flight by Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there. I would move on by Greece, and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality. But I wouldn’t stop there…

"Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, "If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth centry, I will be happy." Now that’s a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land. Confusion all around. That’s a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth centry in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding — something is happening in our world….

"Well I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight, I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

King gave this sermon on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated.

One Response to “A few words from Dr. King”

  1. Cynical Mom Says:

    Regarding the marriage study… I guess I fit the profile as someone who is “bothered” by the reasoning… I get so tired of reading about all the male behaviors being linked back to evolution and spreading seed and hunting.
    Instead, let’s have some more articles about women and how due to our “natural mothering instinct” we really should be staying home taking care of the kids. Oh, wait…
    And regarding the hiring one, depressing but not unsurprising. I probably would have subconsciously done the same rating myself. When I told my manager that I wanted to go part-time to spend more time with my son, he said “I think you’re making the right choice. I don’t know how any mom can work.” What?? Just because I’m a mom and my kid’s in daycare, this is the right choice? Are you saying that any mom who works full time is making the wrong choice?
    My response was “You realize that’s extremely sexist, right?”. He said “But it’s true.” Oy.

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