Brent Maze: Let’s follow Dr. King’s lead of love

By BRENT MAZE,

Today, we celebrated the 91st birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

While I was never alive to hear him speak, it’s easy to see his impact on America. He was one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century.

He is known as a civil rights activist in our history, but he was much more than that. He was a minister, an orator, a writer, a family man and a scholar.

If you take a speech class in high school or college, chances are you’ll be studying the way he gave speeches. His “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the Washington Mall is one of the most quoted and paraphrased speeches in American History.

One of the more famous quotes from that speech is, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

That’s a powerful dream. Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten there yet. There’s still work to be done, but I think we’re much closer than we’ve ever been.

Another of his famous quotes includes, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

This is a good quote for all of us to embrace. Our current social — at least social media — climate seems to be built on hate. We are quick to be the judge and jury when we read the headline of a story.

We don’t really care about the details. We just look at the surface and make a decision without knowing everything we need to know, but that’s not love.

As 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Perhaps, maybe that’s the one thing we could use a little more of right now — love. I know it sounds like a cliché to say that, but sometimes the simple truths are the most profound things.

As Dr. King said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

And we all need more true friends.

Contact Brent at bmaze@-newtoncountyappeal.com.