Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 15, 2018
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would have been 89 years old today had he not been assassinated nearly 50 years ago in April 1968. Let us mark the day by reflecting on where we have been and where we need to go as a society and at Vassar. As children, we are introduced to Dr. King as the civil rights leader who said “I have a dream,” but a closer look at his legacy reminds us of the tireless work he did to turn those dreams into reality.
I am inspired by so much of Dr. King’s speaking and writing. Here are some of my favorites:
“In a real sense, all life is interrelated. The agony of the poor impoverishes the rich; the betterment of the poor enriches the rich... Whatever affects one affects all.” (Dr. King, Where Do We Go from Here? 1967)
“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists.”
(Dr. King, Strength to Love, 1963).
“Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word “maladjusted.” Certainly, we all want to avoid the maladjusted life. But there are certain things in our nation and in the world [for] which I am proud to be maladjusted…I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few.”
(Dr. King, Creative Maladjustment speech at Western Michigan University, 1963)
As we honor Dr. King today, I hope recalling these and other of his reflections inspires. “The time is always right to do the right thing. ” (Dr. King, 1965, Oberlin Commencement Address).
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