It’s up to us to realize Dr. King’s dream

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By Tom Purcell

 

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and legacy, in these angry and divisive times, we all could benefit by reminding ourselves of his words’ truth, civility and wisdom.

Too many of us are consumed with hatred and anger, which have reared their ugly heads in our public discourse lately. Dr. King, who endured hatred so ugly and excessive that it led to his assassination, spoke often of the futility of hating anyone or anything - of how hating harms the hater more than the hated:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” “I have decided to stick to love ... . Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

Our political leaders’ courage has always been in regrettably short supply. If only those leaders - who are more concerned with partisan interests than with our country’s many challenges - would heed these words from Dr. King: “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.”

 

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