For Just One Day

(Alexa posted this on her Never In Our Names blog for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in 2009. I think it’s worth reposting every year.)

For Just One Day

by Alexa

“And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn’t done, and done in a hurry, the whole world is doomed.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.”

For just one day, let there be no progress. Let us not find a new way to convert seemingly worthless pieces of earth into technological slaves that fulfill our every whim. Let us not alter the chemical composition of this substance to turn it into something new, something nature never thought of, that will come back in the fish as a poison lasting millions of years. Let us not bring the fossil fuels up from the ground so that we can burn them, their particles rising into the air to return back to us in rain water. Let us not re-engineer the rice so that we get three crops a year instead of two, but are forever dependent on the manufacturers of the rice seed, because it is a sterile, patented product now. Let us leave Mars to the science fiction writers and give up thoughts of permanent homes on the Moon.

For just one day, let us be something less than what we could be. Let us have something less than what we could have. Let us look at what is possible and say, “no thanks,” in favor of what is preferable. Let the moon be for poets who make meaning out of its reflection on a lake. Let all things be as they are born and enjoyed just for that. And may you too be loved and embraced just as you were born, needing no embellishment or proof of your worth. Let how we treat the least among us reveal a societal identity we are proud to claim, one that leaves each of us feeling safe and secure even as we rest in the pure essence of our being.

For just one day, let us not earn our keep. Let us instead be still and listen to the birds sing in the trees, watch the wind blow in the leaves, feel that same breeze against our skin, and smile at how lucky we are to be living on Earth.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Today marks the holiday for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. who dedicated his life to the freedom and dignity of all people, just as they were born. He was slain by an assasin’s bullet, but you still live. There remains a hope that if you dare, if you have the courage and the conviction, you may claim your life as your own and set yourself free.

This is an invitation. Be still and know that you are God, that God is all there is, and that that is good enough.


7 Responses to “For Just One Day”

  1. 1 blindyone January 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Definitely worth it. I should have seen this over the weekend instead of wasting time elsewhere.

  2. 3 gdw January 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

    For just one day can you look on the bright side or at least shine the light of love into the darkness which you seem to always focus on? Be still and know that He is God. You are not God, we are not God. God is love and that is what MLK knew so well. That it is God’s love through us that will change things for the better for all people. Love someone today. Better yet, love someone whom you would normally never think to love. Love your enemies. I pray that you will truly grasp the meaning of MLK’s words and that they aren’t just for “other people” to adhere to so that change will come, but that they are for you as well. You put spotlights on the words and actions of those whom you feel are unjust. But shining a spotlight does not cause positive change. The light of love does. Best wishes of warmth and love to you and yours.

    • 4 bluenred January 19, 2011 at 9:05 am

      Well, that was kind of mean. ; (

      I think Alexa’s post is about as bright as you can get. And surely she gets the “love” message.

      I didn’t know we were so dark over here, but I guess maybe we are. : /

      Also, I don’t know why I can’t be god same as that guy who melted Gomorrah. I never melted no towns. ; (

      • 5 possum January 19, 2011 at 9:24 am

        Darkness is much in the eye (mind) of the beholder. Life is pretty darned dark if one looks at the real world without rose colored glasses.

        It does seem to me you fulfill MLK’s words. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Shining light on the darkness by exposing those issues to the world diminishes the darkness IMHO. Keep up the good work.

  3. 7 possum March 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Pressing onward and not focusing on the dark is the key indeed. Thanks for the reminder. By continuing to live life and to do good works we lighten the darkness wherever it may be.

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