Posted by: Dr Churchill | January 18, 2022

MLK’s proof…

He was a lifelong depressive, having first attempted suicide before he was even a ten year old. 

Although he graduated with a Doctorate before 30, he didn’t get hired as a Dean of Students at Xavier U., because he “didn’t have the qualities of a leader.” 

Friends and family dissuaded his relationship with his white girlfriend because stuff like that could get a black man hanged. 

He smoked like a chimney, and could play pool till dawn–much to the displeasure of his father with whom he argued over his life’s direction.

From ages 26 to 39 he led a public life while he continued to struggle personally. He was picked to lead the Montgomery boycott largely because he was new in town. He turned down an enriching book and speaking deal, early on, and would die with less than $5000 to his family’s name. Drama at his church. Strain in the marriage. 

He was hated by as many of us who loved him … and the realization that he would likely not see 40 ranked him… 

Indeed he did not see 40.

Martin Luther King, Jr, is a hero not because he was brilliant, but because he decided to say yes to things that benefitted others more than him. He is great not because of some inaccessible quality, but because he decided that giving was as important as having. 

Imagine if he’d stayed in Boston married that girlfriend and became an academic… 

Imagine if he had taken that huge book & speaking deal, rather than march on… 

Imagine if he let his depression take him… 

Imagine if he thought more about him less about us… 

Many of us don’t have to Imagine because we do it all the time.

Let’s do this–this year as we mark 50 years since this beautifully flawed man was killed fighting for you (and if you want a more perfect union, he was fighting for you), let’s take him down from the rarified air of worship. Let’s ground him to the foundation of example. Let’s do what he did — work for a better world. You don’t have to go broke or risk your life — don’t worry.

But speaking Truth to power, resisting intolerance, seeking and promoting solutions, actively loving each other is a pretty good start.

My mother used to keep a picture of King next to a picture of her and me. When at five I asked who he was she calmly said, “He is what we all should be — a light and help onto others.” She said he worked to make people’s life easier in a hard world and one day I will get to do the same “in ways big or small — it don’t matter, as long as you do something for somebody.” 

The idea that I could be of service (and we should all be of service) never left. 

Imagine our world, filled with people living those truths: 

“We should be of service.” 

You can be of service too…

Yours,

Dr Churchill 

PS: 

Brother Martin, 

Thank you for your example of stepping up despite the twists, despite the storms. 

More than ever, we need to do what you and countless others have done to conquer the darkness. 

Rest easy, we’ll take it from here.


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