As we honor the life, the works, and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr this week, I consider him a true hero. Many times when Americans speak of heroes, we often think of military generals. When I think of heroes, Martin Luther King Jr. is among them but I also parallel him with our military generals. Many heroes have emerged from our military during the last 12 years of war, but King also fought for many years.
Like a general, King provided selfless service to our nation at a critical time.
Like a general, King was able to mobilize, train, equip and motivate thousands of foot soldiers for a difficult and unpopular mission.
Like a general, King understood the need for “boots on the ground”.
Like a general, King understood that many would criticize his tactical and operational strategies, but he could not give in to public opinion for his exit strategy.
Like a general, King understood that to change a country, you must win the hearts and minds of her citizens and those opposed to change.
Like a general, King led the charge to provide democracy and the right to vote for citizens in a country during chaos.
Like a general, King volunteered to respond and fight America’s first wave of domestic terrorism which consisted of bombings, rapes and lynching of Americans.
Like a true military hero, King was willing and eventually made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Because of our nation’s many accomplishments, many grapple with how to honor a man like Dr. King. I would like to leave of you with a simple challenge, one that does not require a group to accomplish. A challenge that can be accepted and accomplished by one person — the one in the mirror. That challenge comes from the Mohandas K. Gandhi, whom Dr. King studied and patterned his works after.
The challenge — “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
If more of us accepted this challenge, we would exponentially honor Dr. King and his legacy and general’s work would live on.