the one with hope (sort of)

January 21, 2013

Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I’ll be honoring him by doing what he was fighting for all those years ago: telling more than a few of thousands of people who will be at the museum where the bathroom is.

Wait.

The museums around Cleveland are open and this is greatly taken advantage of. There were a ton of people last year. Unless the potential snow chases people off it’ll be more of the same this year.

Some highlights (or maybe lowlights) from last year:

Someone tried to smell one of the pieces.
A twenty something tried to grope Aphrodite’s boobs.
About 20 bajillion kids tried to sit on/climb the griffins.
This:
(I walk into gallery where the griffins are. A mother is with her kid and doesn’t see me. She motions for them to get on it.)
mom: get on it. Quick for a picture. (She sees me.) No I said not to touch it just get next to it.
Visitor said: “what kind of museum don’t let you touch things”

 We’ll see what this year brings.

To close things out here is a piece from Maya Angelou’s poem “Abundant Hope”

 

Reverend Martin Luther King

The great soul


Flew from the Creator


Bearing manna of hope


For his country


Starving severely from an absence of compassion.

 

Martin Luther King

The Great Spirit

Came from the Creator


Proffering a sparkling fountain of fair play


To his country


Parched and deformed by hate.

The whole man came forth


With a brain of gentle wisdom


To persuade quiet


Upon the loud misery of the mob.

A whole man stood out


With a mellifluous voice


To bind the joints of cruelty.

A whole man came


In the midst of a murderous nightmare


Surrounded by demons of war


He dared to dream peace and serenity.

With a heart of faith


He hoped


To resurrect his nation.

 

I open my mouth to the Lord,

And I won’t turn back.

Martin Luther King

Faced the racial


Mountain of segregation and


And bade it move.

The giant mound of human ignorance


Centuries old


And rigid in its determination


Did move, however slightly, however infinitesimally,


It did move.


I will go, I shall go

I’ll see what the end will be.

Enjoy your day and be kind to one another!

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One where I’m all Martin Luther Kingy

January 17, 2011

Well I decided to put the NYC stories on hold for a few more posts. I’ve written them down and will type them up and post them in their time. I was unsure what I wanted to post. I leaned toward another NYC story because they allow me to be funny. Yesterday’s post was serious enough wasn’t it? The lovely Carissa suggested I do something about Martin Luther King Jr. Day and what it means to me.

Whoa! (Of course the ‘whoa’ is all Joey Lawrence like. This will let me use the tag Joey Lawrence and that will help bring more peeps to my blog looking for his peen.) I know two serious posts in a row? Someone better check my temperature. I blame global warming or climate change or just Carissa. Take your pick.

Then someone sent this into overheard Ohio’s twitter:

“This Martin Luther King guy was the man huh mom”–young kid to his mom.

That made me laugh and oddly happy. Today (MLK Jr. Day) I’ve always been intrigued by. I like its duality. It really is a day made for reflection. Today is a day we should look to the past. Meditate on the achievements we have reached in equality and how far we’ve come but also how far we do still need to go. There is where the duality comes from. It should also be a day of recharging the efforts, of doing things.

We tend to (sometimes unfortunately) easily get lost in what was accomplished and think the job is done. Is his dream really fulfilled? Not fully. If he was alive today he’d still be challenging us. There are still challenges that need to be faced. Legislatively, a ton has changed since King was alive. Things like public accommodations, seating on public transportation and drinking from public water fountains are the direct result of the civil rights struggle.

He and all those who struggled years ago fostered progress including passage and affirmation of anti-discrimination laws, opening of the job market and greater communication and understanding between people of different races and ethnicities.

Things that were huge parts of his “dream” such as ending poverty and his belief in non-violence have been forgotten. They’ve at the very least been pushed from the front. King was a strong supporter of human rights, health care and economic development. The violence that continues to find its way into our families, streets and especially schools don’t appear to be pressing concerns.

(That is until shoved to the forefront by horrific actions.)

(Wow you see that up there? A parenthesis used for a serious point and not a joke!)

For me the biggest disappointment is that so many have forgotten that King was willing to challenge the conventional. Controversy should not scare people away from what is right. If you are going to talk about civil rights you have to include a larger scope of things.

Non-discrimination should extend further than color of skin or ethnicity to gender, sexual orientation and disability. We cannot simply remember and quote the easy things. We must remember the bold demands he made of the future.

I think King would at the very least ask ‘how can you be for one thing and not the other?’

This is often quoted but it has always hit home with me:

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”–Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community

Today celebrate his (and all those who namelessly worked with him) words, actions and accomplishments but also ask yourself what can we do.


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