“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Strength to Love, Martin Luther King, Jr. 1963.
Night has fallen, and the annual day dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. is almost over. I intended to write something much earlier in the day, and when I looked at the clock and realized it was after 9pm, I almost talked myself out of writing this post.
I missed my window of opportunity.
Posting this so late might send the wrong message, that today wasn’t important.
I had combed through quotes and landed on one that spoke to me, one that felt like it spoke to us as citizens living in a divisive, fractured country. I started formulating thoughts about what I wanted to say, and then, my day took control. One thing after another became a priority, and I almost gave up on the idea of writing this.
I am new to learning about racial justice and equity. It’s not an easy reality to admit. So much has happened during my lifetime that could have sparked a more acute awareness, a more immediate pull to better understand the racial inequalities in our world. Unfortunately, I missed the cues.
This past year, however, my eyes finally opened. I am beginning the process of learning, of understanding, of seeing. With learning comes knowledge. With knowledge comes understanding. With understanding comes empathy. With empathy comes the desire to stand up, to step forward, to take action, to participate.
This quote from Martin Luther King speaks to me because it talks about character. May each of us breathe into stepping forward in the face of inequality, challenge, and adversity.
It’s never too late to start.