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Remember! Celebrate! Act!

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in Holi-DAZE,QUOTE-ability

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream was ultimately one of compassion for it’s through sympathy that we’re able to recognize each other’s humanity & find common ground. No matter how great or small the issues, nor how different someone may seem, we must remember how alike we are when all is said & done.

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Character is born of personality & forged by experience. Those two forces are different for all of us & the combination even more so yet we ALL face common experiences with similar personality traits. While we individualize them as we grow (both figuratively & literally), they are all but identical at their core.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

Amidst the need for food & lodging are the desires for expression & companionship; these are the very pursuits that motivate each & every one of us. Although the results are varied, the reasons are the same. From our most basic inspirations — love, fear, happiness, sadness — to our greater aspirations, like self-fulfillment or altruism, we’re taking the same journey.

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

The paths differ immensely but the people on those pathways are just that; PEOPLE! None of us are intrinsically more or less than another. When someone’s beliefs, speech, actions, culture, looks or — God forbid — existence comes into question, we need to personalize being questioned for who we are. I sincerely hope none of us would stand for it.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

As valid as it is to live & let live, may we all work toward empathy & not settle for apathy. Every single one of us is making choices based on the same criteria; it’s just the specific criteria that differs. So, rather than getting caught up in the whats, whys & whences of those for whom no kinship is felt, look past those insignificant differences to the sameness — the humanness.

“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which
we do not see.”

Even if empathy & altruism do not come easily, remember too that any grudge or hatred born is borne by YOU. It’s when it’s acted upon that others are most clearly affected yet it will not only be a burden to bear but too often is the source of silence. When we struggle to understand someone, that struggle is entirely our own so its positive and negative results belong to us as well.

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

It’s a simple but inescapable truth that freedom for ourselves requires freedom for others. Standing aside when someone else is in jeopardy or simply in need of understanding effectively leaves us standing on line to be next. It’s also true that we learn more about ourselves by learning about others. Moreover, loving who we’d like is inextricably connected to loving who we’d never imagine.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great
a burden to bear.”

Make it a day ON, not a day off.Imagine how you’d like to treat those you deeply care about.. To whatever extent we’re able to care for those we thought we never could, we increase our ability to care & how we’re cared for. Regardless of your interests, compassion quota or current ability; it only takes a moment to be considerate &, each time you allow yourself to consider someone else’s perspective, you’ve made the world a better place.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is,
‘What are you doing for others?'”

This year’s theme for the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On…Not A Day Off. Let’s remember then how little it really takes to make a difference as we celebrate our differences & act far more compassionately to each other hence forth!? Do as much or as little as you can, knowing that every effort is added to a collective whole that will see us all to a greater good.

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

(|_|*cheers*|_|)
All quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr.

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