There’s not a great deal in life that inspires us more than reading about Martin Luther King.
Yesterday, we spent a little time doing just that. It was Martin Luther King Day, an annual holiday, held to commemorate his birth (in 1929), after all.
It’ll soon be five decades since Dr King died, in 1968, yet his place in our consciousness (both here, in the United States, and all over the world) remains intact.
He’s known (and revered) as a civil rights leader, a pastor, a humanitarian and an activist, whilst his speeches – not least that which included the immortal line ‘I have a dream’ – rank amongst the most important ever uttered.
It’s another Dr King oration, however, that speaks the loudest to us here at OM®. It is taken from his Christmas sermon on peace in 1967, a little more than three months before his murder in Memphis. The assassin’s bullet might have ended his life, but it couldn’t silence a message that lives on even now, in 2015.
That message? That we are all connected. Just consider this for a moment . . .
‘It boils down to this, that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in a network of inescapable mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Did you ever stop to think that you can’t leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world?
‘You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge. It’s handed to you by a Pacific islander. You reach for a bar of soap and that’s given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning and that’s poured into your cup by a South American. Maybe you want tea, that’s poured by a Chinese. Or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast and that’s poured by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you’ve finished eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world.
‘This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.’
There’s an awful lot more that we could write about Dr King, but we’re not going to. You’ve read that already.
Besides, the most-important message, the one that, all this time later, we’re still trying to get across, is encapsulated in those three thought-provoking paragraphs . . .
That a common thread runs through all our lives. That all our actions impact on others. That we’re all dependent on one another. That nothing occurs in isolation. That we are all made to live together. That until we start to recognize and respect this fundamental principle of existence, peace (true peace, that is) is destined to remain elusive. That all is interrelated. That we are all connected.