It would be too easy to pass of Dr. King's day of memorial and honor with a simple quote. So many of us do. In fact, most of our national holidays have turned into little more than excuses for sales and days off work.
Today, I'm going to ask you to look a little deeper. Dr. King represented far more than just a fight for Civil Liberty. He fought to be a champion of values and morals, of showing us the path this nation could charge. He demonstrated that the universe does trend toward a higher ground than it began, and that even one person can make a difference if they speak for the will of the underprivileged.
Of course, people will challenge any assertion of Dr. King's work with the sordid stories of his personal life. He was a human being, and we are deeply flawed creatures. But he is not remembered for those actions, but for his struggles and triumphs. He is honored for the rallying cry he gave to millions of Americans when he proclaimed that he had a dream.
Today, try your very best not to fall into platitudes or bumper-sticker-patriotism. That is not what Dr. King wanted. He wanted fighters. He wanted people ready to take a stand for any moral injustices in this world. And, don't lie to yourself, there is a long way to go before we reach an equal playing ground.
Love your neighbor, no matter the color of their skin, their creed, their gender, their choice of partner. Love your neighbor, and not because they vote the same way, or because they share a sports team, or because you both complain about the same things. Love your neighbor because they are also a human being, and we will not survive the fight alone.
If you want to tell someone "Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day," then earn that sentiment. Make it a happy day because you have taken action to make the world a better place. There are a million ways to do it, all it takes is one.
We can be better. He thought so. Now let's prove him right.