What Martin Luther King wanted someone to say
Today is the late Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday (MLK Day). This is a day of reflection and celebration for anybody who cares about equality, justice, and peace. I’m guessing that includes you, so take a few moments and read the words of one of our world’s greatest leaders.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want them to say…I’d like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say, on that day, that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
“The Drum Major Instinct” (1968)
What do you want them to say at your funeral?
“Man, he had a huge house.”
“She was the most beautiful women I have ever met.”
“This guy threw the best parties.”
“She had more money than she knew what to do with.”
Of course you don’t want that eulogy. But some of us live like we do. It’s funny, many of us spend our lives trying to earn things that will be worthless to us on our death beds.
On April 4th, 1968, just four years after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice, Dr. King was murdered. He died chasing a dream, a dream that has inspired millions around the world.
As for his eulogy wish—”I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.”—history speaks for itself.
What do you want them to say about you when you leave? Share in the comments section below.
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Photo Credit: Scott Ableman (Creative Commons)