What you are for, not what you are against

I couldn’t let Martin Luther King Jr. Day pass without some tribute.

What four words come to mind when you think of him? For me, they are: “I have a dream.

Bruce Sanguin and others have pointed out that Luther King said “I have a dream,” not “I have a complaint.”

By focusing on what he was for, he stirred people. He was a prophet in the fullest sense of the term. He couldn’t allow an oppressive status quo to carry on unchallenged, and he felt called to energize people to drive change.

If he had focused on what he was so justifiably against—if he had complained—people might have reacted with, “Yes, things are a mess (shrug) but I can’t believe they’ll ever change.”

At my book study group last night we talked about prophets: seekers of social justice, inspired energizers of change. We considered some modern-day prophets: Malala Yousafzai, Craig and Marc Kielburger, and David Suzuki, for example. Our list went on, for we are blessed with many modern-day prophets. All of them respond to a life calling they cannot ignore. All of them seek to change a societal injustice. All of them energize other people to make that change.

All of them have plenty to complain about, and they lay the facts out there for all to know, and then they look forward. And then they tell you what they’re for.

Neil Young take note. We know what you’re against. What are you for?

stanley-park

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on January 21, 2014, in good faith, How do you define success?, Inspiration, Living life to the fullest, outreach, progressive christianity, religion, taking care of our planet and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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