"Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last"
Who doesn't recognize these words? They are from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous I Have A Dream speech at the Freedom March to Washington, DC on August 28, 1963.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Bill was signed by former President Ronald Reagan on November 2, 1986. It is celebrated every 3rd Monday of January.
Martin Luther King, Jr., fought valiantly against prejudice and racial injustice. His freedom crusade ended abruptly when he was killed by an assassins bullet on April 4, 1968. He lives on through his deeds and his words. You can read the full context of his powerful and moving "I Have A Dream" speech".
Others have fought for justice and equality as well in quietly subtle ways. A song from the 1949 and 1958 Broadway musical "South Pacific" is a hard-hitting commentary on racial prejudice. The title of the song is YOU'VE GOT TO BE CAREFULLY TAUGHT. Some of the lyrics are below.
"You've got to be carefully taught to hate and fear, You've got to be taught from year to year; It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear, You've got to be carefully taught. You've got to be taught to be afraid Of people whose eyes are differently made, And people whose skin is a different shade, You've got to be carefully taught. You've got to be taught before it's too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate; You've got to be carefully taught, You've got to be carefully taught." These are words remember and learn from.
Dialogue from the characters of South Pacific:
*Nellie: This is something [racial prejudice] that's born in me!
*Emile de Becque: What makes her talk like that--you and she? I do not believe it is born in you! I do not believe it!
*Lt. Cable: It's not born in you--it happens after you're born!
With the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on America still in the minds and hearts of all Americans and others, we have found that everyone is vulnerable to prejudice and hate regardless of skin color, ethnicity, religion or the country you live in.
This is a good time to reflect who you are and decide what you want to pass on to your children.
Enjoy your day - and perform one act of kindness for someone, you'll be a happier person for it.
Hone your skills for work and family and you hone them for living life to the fullest