Tuesday, January 19, 2010

MLK still speaks today...

I hope everyone had a great long weekend. It is a fabulous thing to have a short work/school week in January so close to the Christmas/New Years holidays. It does help you get through the dead of winter, particularly when you wake up to an unexpected 4 inches of snow on your car (yes, I'm talking to you Boston).

But I think the meaning behind having a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. has been lost. I was among many who worked yesterday, and in catching up on my tasks, I missed most of the articles and stories on the man we were supposed to be recognizing. The day just sort of passed.

The above video is admittedly long. But it is worth turning off the iTunes, ignoring Twitter feeds and getting off Facebook to watch and absorb the scenes captured. In this speech, and in all his speeches, Dr. King exhorted his fellow citizens to be great. Have courage, stand up and do what needs to be done to right a wrong.

The crisis in Haiti is not one simply of the question of race, though that played its part a long time ago. But the basic message Martin Luther King, Jr. preached nearly 50 years ago can be applied here: Have courage, stand up and do what needs to be done to right a wrong.

September 11th and Hurricane Katrina showed disasters of this magnitude can be hard to handle. There are no dress rehearsals that can approximate the logistics and management needed in these situations. But texting Haiti to 90999 and donating to the Red Cross are great ways to be able to help both those affected and those in charge. The New York Times published a link to a site called Charity Navigator, which helps those who want to donate to learn about the charities which have responded thus far and how they are helping the Haitian people.

The outpouring of aid and money so far has been staggering. Four hundred million dollars from 20 countries, including $100 million from the US alone. It's so good to see that even when the whole world struggles, it can still have courage, stand up and do what needs to be done to right a wrong.

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