I admit it … I am an Alumnus of the Graduate MA program from Vanguard University and I love this school. If we were talking undergraduate programs I would giving a shout out to “LIFE Pacific College!” It has been my experience that outside from the History Channel covering special holidays such as “Presidents Birthday’s” most people are not so much contemplating the meaning of the National Holiday as much as they are wondering if they get a day-off from the routine of the job. I open my email and I get a special announcement to all the graduate students at Vanguard University concerning “Martin Luther King Day!” The message that is scripted is both brilliant as well as it caused me to reflect what this day really means that came at the cost of a man becoming a “Modern Day Martyr!” The historian George Santayana once stated, “That those who forget histories mistakes will be condemned to repeat them.” In a world that is being fractured by so many of life issues whether it be politics or social and religious strife-this article caused me to pause and ask the question: “How can I in my actions make a difference engaging with people from a different ethnicity?” It is my hope you enjoy this simple note and Great Job “Vanguard University Communications Department!”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., championed for the respect and civil rights of all people. He committed his life to fighting for the equality of people old, young, rich, poor, Catholic, Protestant, and male and female of every race. Dr. King demonstrated the words he preached by publicly countering hate with love, brutality with non-violence and oppression with empowerment.
As a Baptist preacher, Reverend King used the Biblical teachings of love, mercy and forgiveness as the basis for his stand against racism and injustice. He sought to breakdown the strongholds of hate and prejudice by building unity across racial differences and religious denominations. Dr. King was most influential because he led by example and worked alongside those he inspired to challenge officials and laws enforcing segregation, bigotry and violence against others.
A famous quote of Reverend King states, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Today you are challenged to take Dr. King’s statement to heart and be a friend willing to lend your voice. Do not shrink back in silence when an inappropriate joke is told, a hurtful stereotype is perpetuated, or a racial slur is uttered. As Dr. King said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Today, throughout this month, or for the duration of this semester find ways to share the story of those often silenced, marginalized and disregarded. Be a champion for someone else!
This holiday weekend, make a commitment to demonstrate your belief in the Biblical teachings and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s example of love, empathy, courage, grace, forgiveness, and justice. Do your part to make Dr. King’s infamous dream a reality in the 21st century and for generations to come.
Reprinted from the Vanguard University Email Message, Friday, January 15, 2016, 8:26 am. If you are interested in the Vanguard University MA Religion in Leadership & Spiritual Formation you can check their web page at www.vanguard.edu/graduatereligion/