Martin Luther King
25 Jan, 2016
Open door last week focused on Martin Luther King, whose birthday had just been celebrated. It was a fairly small gathering – only some 25 folks decided to brave the cold – but that did not take away from their enthusiasm.
We started as usual – after introductions- with a spiritual moment –culled from a quote by Marcus Aurelius, which made reference to pain caused by external factors and how one has the power to dismiss it. The spiritual moment gave rise to a lengthy conversation with all and sundry putting in their two cents on the issue. As often happens at Open Door, the spiritual moment was prescient in dealing with matters that would later be fully explored in the main presentation.
We watched three short films (approx. 5-10 mins each) which explored Martin Luther King’s life – a short biography; him preaching and a work comparing and contrasting him with Malcolm X – Non-violence versus Black supremacy. The 3 film clips were all very powerful, educating us on the lesser know aspects of Martin Luther King’s life (who knew that he changed his name to Martin?) and at the same time taking us back to the overt racism of those days and making us uncomfortable about how far we still need to go to fulfill his dream – think of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
The discussion was lively with many points of view expressed, some very pessimistic about the future of mankind whereas other were more hopeful – recognizing that change takes place slowly in human lives and that it takes generations for us to see the change – who for instance could imagine a black president of the USA back in Martin Luther King’s days?
Jeri brought the evening to an end by throwing out a challenge to the group, entitled ’40 Daily Acts & Peace Quotes’ where we are asked to do a daily action for the next 40 days and to report on our success or failures at the next Open Door.
The challenge for Wednesday, 20 January was:
‘Practice STAR: Stop, Think, Act, Review. Put yourself in the shoes of another. Do not react to negative situations’.
This was accompanied by the following Quote of the Day:
“An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind” – Mahatma Gandhi
We will see next Tuesday who took up the challenge. See you there!