Forty-nine years ago, the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was silenced by an act of violence. I keep thinking how much he influenced me. He has been a guiding light in my life. For sure I admire his courage, his determination, his capacity to endure suffering without retaliating. I certainly admire him for always acting with the utmost civility, for exemplifying active nonviolent resistance, and for being able to bring the exchange of ideas about human rights to the highest intellectual level. But the characteristic I admire the most in Dr. King was his ability to see. As someone who is able to foresee the beautiful butterflies that eventually will come out of the ugliest caterpillars, he was able to see fragile and gentle human beings even inside the nastiest bullies. He was able to see the best of humanity inside everyone. He was able to see himself in others. He was able to see the Promised Land.
On April 3, 1968, one day before his death, Dr. King gave his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. Referring to the death threats he was receiving, he said, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land! And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man! My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”
How I wish we all could see as he saw. How I wish we all remembered him and the sacrifices he made. How I wish we all imitated him, trying our best to be the best we can be.
Here’s to you, Martin, my brother, hero of humanity, architect of peace, the greatest American who ever lived!
Know that you are loved!
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– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
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Piero Falci is the founder of the Silent Peace Walk movement. He is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer and inspirer who encourages people to live lives that matter. He is a promoter of peace who believes that Heaven is here, if we want it to be. He teaches mindfulness meditation and mindful living.