Sitting in my room looking at my shadow that is reflected from my bedroom lamp, I try recalling the very first time I heard of Martin Luther King Jr. The very first time…Now that I think about it, it was so long ago, back in elementary school. I liked learning about new people. As a matter of fact, I still do. Whether I remember the very first time or not, I took Dr. King Jr. to be a role model and an icon for so long.
There was something about his ways that struck me as a kid. I liked his peacefulness that I learned about. I like his ambition. I liked opening my history textbook and finding his infamous “I Have A Dream” speech. I even mentioned him in my personal statement to a university. I liked him because he was for the nonviolent movement just like Gandhi. [Since I mention Gandhi, I would like to say that I remember the very first time I heard of him. I was in third grade, and my elementary teacher, Mrs. Brown said his name, “Mahatma Gandhi”].
I mentioned Dr. King Jr. [and Gandhi] in almost all of my talks concerning what the Occupied* should do in regards to the occupation. Nonviolence is the way to go is what I preached.
It was not until this year that I questioned this. Nonviolence. Could that really work? Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying take out the guns and go to war, but nonviolence seems to be…not for this case. Not for the Occupied’s case. Nonviolence seems to be a way to just go with the flow and let things be. You’re probably thinking ‘well, what’s the alternative? If you don’t want nonviolence nor violence, what’s the alternative?’ Honestly, my fellow friends, I have yet to find out.
Recently, a close friend of mine gave me Malcolm X’s autobiography to read. She told me, “You’re going to like this. It’s insane.” It sure was. After reading those four hundred pages or so, I sat on my bed and shook my head. That man’s story held power. He had a different perspective regarding things. If the world was coming at you, he didn’t believe you should sit there and be quiet. One of my favorite quotes in that book was, “…if you want something, you had better make some noise.” And no one could have said it better.
I am not giving solutions in this blogpost about how to go about certain things. I am simply giving my personal example of how thought can change. I have yet to learn about Dr. King Jr. and Gandhi’s ways, even Malcolm X, but the childhood admiration I held for them will probably remain [or change, who knows?]…whether I’ll ever come to agree or disagree with their terms.
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the States. As things would turn out, it was also Barack Obama’s second presedential inaugration. Hearing Obama give a speech on equality and everything that comes with it showed me, indeed, when it comes to equality this world has a long to go. I wasn’t as excited to see Obama give his speech as I was the first time…then again, things change and so do perspectives.
But nevermind who likes who and what should we all do….let’s all just….do!