Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is known for his fight for equality and for justice for all. With the historical lessons of his life and death and the longstanding public recognition of his work, you would think we would be further along than we are, and that racial inequality would live only in history books. We are not, and it does not. Racism is still very much an issue today.
The last year has been filled with incredible loss, hurt, frustration, and, honestly, just general devastation. Like most, I am hopeful for a better, brighter tomorrow. But I also don’t think hope is a good strategy. We all need to take action now; silence is compliance. In preparing for MLK Day this year, I was re-reminded of Dr. King’s vision, and his relentless drive for equal rights. We all need to pick up where he left off, because there is still so much work to be done.
Like Dr. King himself, his words resonate today in the most incredible way, but it’s chilling how much relevance they still have.
- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
- “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
- “The time is always right to do what is right.”
- “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
- “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
- “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
And, I would be remiss not to also mention his “I Have a Dream Speech,” which, while powerful then, is all the more powerful now. If you have not listened to it in a while, I encourage you to do so. I have hyperlinked it here.
We still have a long road ahead of us, but every journey begins with a single, first step. As an organization we are passionate about ensuring racial, gender, and social equality; and, like so many organizations, the country too, as a team, we have more work to do. In the spirit of this, moving forward, LABUR has added MLK Day as an official paid ‘LABUR Day’ holiday, where employees have the full day off without having to use any of their paid time off. (More about LABUR’s benefits can be found here.)
I hope everyone will take this MLK Day to read, listen, and learn, again, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And to this end, another wise quote, one before its time and still with so much relevance for today: “We shall overcome some day.” This I know.