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"I have decided to stick with love."

Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan made Martin Luther King Jr. Day a National Holiday. Since that time, Our Nation Unites on the third Monday of January to honor the life and legacy of this extraordinary leader.

Even though he died 54 years ago at the age of 39, his mission and his message are needed now more than ever.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to reflect on these words of wisdom from Dr. King’s Nobel Lecture and ask yourself how you can apply his message this week.

Here is a link to the transcript of his entire speech:

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Lecture

The Quest for Peace and Justice

December 11, 1964

"This evening I would like to use this lofty and historic platform to discuss what appears to me to be the most pressing problem confronting mankind today...We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together.

Some years ago a famous novelist died. Among his papers was found a list of suggested story plots for future stories, the most prominently underscored being this one: 'A widely separated family inherits a house in which they have to live together.' This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a big house, a great 'world house' in which we have to live together - black and white, Easterners and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Moslem and Hindu, a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interests who, because we can never again live without each other, must learn, somehow, in this one big world, to live with each other.

This means that more and more our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. We must now give an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in our individual societies.

This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men and women…When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response which is little more than emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.

Therefore, the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. Love is the key to the solution of the problems of the world.

Let me close by saying that I have the personal faith that mankind will somehow rise up to the occasion and give new directions to an age drifting rapidly to its doom. In spite of the tensions and uncertainties of this period something profoundly meaningful is taking place…Here and there an individual or group dares to love, and rises to the majestic heights of moral maturity. So, in a real sense this is a great time to be alive.

Granted that we face a world crisis which leaves us standing so often amid the surging murmur of life's restless sea. But every crisis has both its dangers and its opportunities. It can spell either salvation or doom."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Love is what the world needed during Martin Luther King's time of crisis and it's the same thing we need during ours.

Love can turn foes into friends and makes everyone feel valued, respected, and dignified. Love makes all of us feel like we belong to a community, appreciated for who we are, and forgiven for our mistakes. Love also increases our health, happiness, and well-being. “Love is our supreme emotion that makes us come most fully alive and feel most fully human. It is perhaps the most essential emotional experience for thriving and health. The love I’m talking about is not just that unique feeling you reserve for your spouse or your romantic partner. It even extends beyond your warm feelings for your children, parents, or close friends. Love can reach so much further than we typically allow. In fact, no one—young or old, passionate, or reserved, single or married—need be excluded…The new take on love that I want to share with you is this: Love blossoms virtually anytime two or more people — even strangers — connect over a shared positive emotion, be it mild or strong.” ~ Barbara Fredrickson, Author, Love 2.0 ~ This week when you have a conversation with someone who has a different point of view, ask yourself…"How can I make this person feel a little more loved?" While there is a lot of uncertainty in our world right now, one thing is cystal clear. The people around us need our leadership and love. Let's give them all we got this week.

Let's Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin 630.215.5144



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