A true revolutionary - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jessica Tabor
  • 28th Bomb Wing Equal Opportunity Office
Jan. 20 is Dr. Martin Luther King's day of service - a day when many of us will honor his memory and vision for our society.

King had a vision known as "The Beloved Community." This term was originally used by Josiah Royce, an idealist philosopher, but was later adopted by King to describe his philosophy about how people of the world could come together and human decency would not allow others to suffer, whether through hunger, homelessness or discrimination.

He believed in the beloved community and spoke of it often. During his many motivational speeches, he referenced the beloved community and how treatment of people should be based on the content of their character. Non-violent protests were the norm; Dr. King felt non-violence would speak louder than any other action. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through nonviolence.

Ultimately, it comes down to love. Love for each other. Dr. King stated, "Love is creative and redemptive. Love builds up and unites; hate tears down and destroys. The aftermath of the 'fight with fire' method which you suggest is bitterness and chaos, the aftermath of the love method is reconciliation and creation of the beloved community. Physical force can repress, restrain, coerce, destroy, but it cannot create and organize anything permanent; only love can do that. Yes, love--which means understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill, even for one's enemies--is the solution to the race problem."

Treating each other with respect seems easy at first. Respect is something taught, learned, and shared. Respect is something demanded but not always given. When respect is lost, any relationship can suffer.

Dr. King envisioned a world where people can unite based on who they are and not divided on what they look like. He wanted a world where equal treatment was the standard for all.

"A Day On, Not a Day Off," is another well-known theme for King's holiday. Known to most as a day off, this holiday is also a day to help others in need, also known as The MLK Day of Service. MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, which is a Presidential call to Americans to positively influence their community.

Community involvement is valued in the Air Force. It encompasses the whole person concept, which supervisors and senior leadership desire. This January, I ask everyone to remember King's vision of a beloved community, his dream, and to honor his memory. Making the difference for one person can influence them for a lifetime.