15 January 2007

Today

I have the day off work because it is Martin Luther King Day. It is a good time to finally clean those baseboards in the bathroom, to get some stuff done.

It kind of sucks to have a holiday this close to the last set of holidays, because then we don't have another paid day off work until May. Presidents' Day worked out better, timing-wise, but they took that away when they gave us this.

But still. Martin Luther King. Is there anyone like him today? He was a moral leader. He wasn't in it for the money or for the fame. He saw a great wrong and gave everything he had to right it. He gave his life. That, he said, was no concern to him. He wanted to do God's will.

Was he the only one? No, there were thousands like him, who endured hardship, death threats, attacks with firehoses and dogs, put-downs, slurs, job loss, bombings. All because they followed a moral imperative to put their own comfort aside for something greater.

How often do I chose comfort over the right thing? What injustice is there that needs my effort to help change it? In honor of MLK day, the least I can do is to ask those questions and to think about the answers while I clean the baseboards.

15 comments:

Lucia said...

Yeah, think about them while cleaning the baseboards, and showering tomorrow, and cooking the day after. We all need to be thinking about it. I wonder if we all thought about it, and took action, if the country would be in better shape than it is.

MrsFortune said...

I was JUST thinking about this very thing today (which obviously is not so weird, being that it is MLK day after all). It's a very interesting point you raise. In years past I've organized volunteer activities with students on this day but this year it's just another day ... but damnit, the post office was closed and I coudn't go renew my passport, like I was planning on.

Anonymous said...

Not to start an argument, but your third paragraph describes George Bush as I see him dealing with Iraq. A very moral man who is trying to right a wrong.

Mr Stapler said...

What is difficult about MLK and his legacy is that history has reduced him to being a legend. He no longer seems real to most people. And that is sad.

wordigirl said...

Just think about how long it took to get around to HAVING a day in this guy's honor. And then ponder how long it will take to get a day to celebrate the life of the most outspoken female proponent for women's suffrage. Yeah men...the 50% of the population who spent a lifetime cleaning your baseboards. I'm just saying.

wordgirl said...

I'm not spoiling for an argument either, which is why I won't offer my acidic opinions on GW Bush...today.

SUEB0B said...

Oh, WG, I KNOW who anonymous is and he is just trying to get my goat. (Hi, Jim!)

Suzanne said...

Since I am the worst cynic in the world, I will point out that while MLK was very brave and amazing and the world is a better place thanks to him, he didn't set aside all of his comforts and some of his moral compasses were a bit screwy if he really was engaging in extramarital affairs. (No conclusive proof, but my heart always sinks whenever it comes up because all too often, something happened.)

Mr Stapler said...

George Bush wouldn't be able to identify the moral elements of King Lear let alone the situation in Iraq. Let alone make, apply and manage policy. He's an idiot for attempting to do so, unless - and this is so unlikely as to be ridiculous - he can bring stability and democracy to the Middle East. But that may involve spending all of America's resources, alienating all of our allies, and killing every living thing in the Middle East. So he is like MLK how?

Mom101 said...

Thanks for the thoughtfulness on this day. All I've heard about it thus far are some infuriating and misguided comments from coworkers on why the office is not closed.

Mom101 said...

and yo, anon...

Moral. Wow. That's got to be the last possible adjective I'd ever use to describe the man who, along with his buddies, has profited from this war like no other. Want to right a wrong, W? Start by resigning.

SUEB0B said...

Suzanne - if having an extramarital affair was the worst thing MLK ever did (if he did indeed do it - there were people, including the FBI, trying to destroy him any way they could) I will take it in return for the good he did.

mothergoosemouse said...

You clean the baseboards? No wonder I like you.

You make an excellent point about the purity of his motives. He truly cared - not about himself, but about all people. He wanted to make a difference, not so that he could have a holiday named after him, but so that people could be treated as they should.

super des said...

We have President's Day, but gave up COlumbus day, which is better because that spaces it out more.

Yay for the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior!

Suzanne said...

OK, I am good with that. As I said, I am overly cynical about these things because I feel we lionize people so easily these days. (Not that you were doing this at all.) It's not that I would denigrate all the amazing good that MLK did. It's that I often feel that in paying homage to such icons, we forget that they are people too. And in some ways, I feel like their failings as humans make their success all the more important.

Back to top