Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Teacher, Author

Martin Luther King Jr Day: How will you make a difference?

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. inspires me in so many ways. These quotes are some that have touched me and motivated me in my walk to be a world changer.

The thing that strikes me as I read MLK’s speeches is that he knew that he would be hated, arrested, and possibly killed  for fighting for racial equality. And yet, in the face of hate and darkness, he remained steadfastly committed to love. In fact, another of my favorite quotes of his is,

“Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”

Whenever someone tells me that I’m unrealistic to believe in the power of love to change the world, I point to Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Mother Teresa. Each of them chose to walk in love, even in the midst of hardship, pain, and even hatred. If they could believe in the power of love, then I will too!

Another quote that inspires me is this one,

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

This quote challenges me to speak out and stand up for what is right. If we aren’t directly impacted, it’s easier to look the other way rather than putting ourselves in the position of protesting against wrong.

But no great good has ever been achieved by looking the other way. Instead, those of us who want to make this world a better place must be committed to fighting against injustice whenever we see it.

As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

On the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday today, I’m inspired to believe in changing the world, in thinking about what I can do to make a difference. How about you? You have your own unique set of talents, strengths, and interests. What calls to your heart? How can you use your passions and your strengths to make this world a better place?

And now, will you? Will you step up for those in need? Will you speak up for justice? Will you rise to the challenge of finding a way to use your gifts to make this world a better place? Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity, our days are short and not guaranteed. Instead, look for opportunities every single day to be a world changer. When is your time? Your time is now.

To read Dr. King’s powerful Letters from a Birmingham Jail, click here.

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2015 by in Acting and tagged , , .
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