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A Letter to you from Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, 30th of September 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. lived an extraordinary life. At 33, he was pressing the case of civil rights with President John Kennedy. At 34, he galvanized the nation with his “I Have a Dream” speech. At 35, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. At 39, he was assassinated, but he left a legacy of hope and inspiration that continues today. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King Jr. , Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., August 28, 1963 Dear loved ones, I had a dream to see that people treat other people in a humane manner. It’s been 5 decades when Negros were slaves and together the Americans believed in one dream. To see that our children, no matter what colour or race would be able to hold hands and walk in peace and harmony.

I should’ve known that the nature of humans is such that one would always want to be better than the other. To show authority and demean the other. The society has come a long way from using people as slaves. But as society gets advanced, the demeaning never ends. People are being treated differently for being fat, thin, dark, fair, gay, lesbian. They are being treated differently for being nerdy, dorky, a geek, too athletic, blonde, and sometimes for being not manly enough or for being a woman with a witty tongue. The discrimination is now behind screens where people type away harsh words and get away with it. It’s a generation where nobody has the confidence to come up to someone and say what they feel.

It’s disappointing how each decade evolve differently dragging parts of their values to the drain. In the 1960’s we fought for equality among the Black’s and the white’s. But now we have to fight for equality among many other biases and descriptions. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” So many ways to get educated, such massive stream of knowledge everywhere but not many know what true education means. Every time you take to type a comment which degrades humanity, you take away your own sense of character and worth. You traumatize another individual, to positions where they take very rash decisions about life. But you, become a ghost behind a screen, with no face or name and no individuality.

By going with the trends of bullying another person, you tame your own conscious in to believing you are right. But in the end, look at the harm you have caused. If you are bullied for being too tall, too fat, too thin, for having your opinion, for being a geek or not being a man, the problem doesn’t lie within you. You take action to be the better person, be a little kinder, be more empathetic towards others, because you don’t know the battle the other person is fighting in. We as humans rejoice about being so technologically advanced, as having studied psychology and science and religion. But have we been able to preserve the nature of humanity? It’s been over 5 decades. The dream I had and still have is to have faith in one another.

To be humble and be happy for another persons success. When we devoid ourselves of this jealousy of being better than the other, we will be able to appreciate the black, the white, the fat, the thin, the gay, the male, the female or the lesbian. If we are brave enough to identify that society is comprised of all of us. We have to be forgiving, accepting and kind towards all of us. “And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Written by Devuni Goonewardene (devuni@gmail.com)

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