Take Time To Reflect On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Message

Next week, the nation will come together in solidarity to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message of non-violence, peace and equality. On Monday, Jan. 20, the world will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and there are plenty of ways to mark the occasion.

Known for his message of peace in the face of extreme inequality, King’s message has been carried across the globe and lives on in his memory. On Monday, it’s important we all take time to reflect on his teachings. It’s the perfect opportunity for a little introspection, especially in a time of such divisive politics.

The civil rights movement propelled the idea of peaceful resistance into the mainstream — of disagreement without violence. Unfortunately, this message seems too often to be forgotten as we see more and more people resort to violence to settle arguments. This is not the way to disagree.

The beauty of King’s method was that he stood unwavering in the face of bigotry, threats of violence and arrest without resorting to threats of his own. It certainly was not easy, but this message of peace gave the civil rights movement more weight and became the model for many similar movements across the globe.

Though passions still run hot in politics, we can all take a page from King’s book and meet our challengers with respect, putting the focus on the issues at hand and not on the actions of the person you disagree with.

Several community organizations will mark the day with observances, and we encourage you to get out and join your friends and neighbors to mark the occasion.

Caribbean-Americans for Community Involvement (CAFCI) and the Village of Royal Palm Beach will present the 12th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Monday, Jan. 20 at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center (151 Civic Center Way). A continental breakfast will be served from 8:45 to 9:30 a.m. The program will start at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Wellington Regional Medical Center will host its second annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program on Monday, Jan. 20 at 11:30 a.m. After the ceremony, there will be a reception with refreshments.

No matter what you choose to do on Monday, take a moment to pause and reflect on the lessons learned over the past 40 years and how King’s message still resonates today. We can all learn a lesson in meeting our challenges head-on with quiet determination, peaceful but strong. It’s a message that still resonates today, and one that is so important to pass on.