CONFLUENCE OF GREAT MINDS: HOW DR.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AND MAHATMA GANDHI INSPIRES US TO PUBLIC SERVICE
When we celebrate Dr Martin
Luther King's Day, it reminds us of the universality of the message of
peace, brotherhood and the principles of truth and justice. In a letter
Birmingham City Jail, April 1963, Dr King wrote, "Injustice anywhere is
threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network
mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one
affects all indirectly."
Dr King was strongly influenced by Gandhi's thoughts on nonviolence.
Globalization of thought has existed from time immemorial. In March,
Mahatma Gandhi wrote, "I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and
nonviolence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try
both on as vast a scale as I could."
is a microcosm of America.
Our portals are graced by the entry of many different people,
sweat and tears, oftentimes unrequited, provide the foundations for
strength is its diversity, in excelsis. The hero who opened that door
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Yes, it was Dr. King who not only brought together the African-American
community, but also welcomed people from around the world, from all
walks of life, to follow his dream and work for equality and justice.
celebration of his life is a timely reminder of the ideals for which he
Not for a day, but for the rest of our lives, if we are to truly and
collectively live the American dream!
To live the dreams and
both Dr Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, our community must unite
common cause, and unite and participate in meaningful political
community must see this day as an all-inclusive American holiday, the
pivotal in our history, one for all of us.
One of the pillars of Mahatma Gandhi's teachings was to attain freedom
build unity by integrating the principles of Truth and using peaceful
to advocate self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Our efforts to gain
inclusion have initiated the integration effort. Our efforts here will
the process of assisting our fellow human beings, our brothers and
must demystify archaic traditions of caste, class and consciousness,
our neighbors to see us as just another person passing this way but
if we stop to help a brother or sister, it must be seen as just
But we are yet to realize our own collective potential. When we build
of understanding with our neighbors, we need to address our internal
issues. We must applaud and promote service to our brothers and
detract from them. Service costs money and time, which is a sacrifice.
to develop our civic consciousness, overcome our petty prejudices and
mindedness, and make a difference in the fabric of our great country.
The Civil Rights Movement of Rev. King changed the course of history in
must nurture inspiration today to understand what it means to be part
of a much
more diverse and challenging America,
where our challenges will grow daily. Just as how communities across America
inspired, daily, by King and Gandhi's approach of inclusion,
and nonviolence, we must likewise take counsel. My fervent hope is that
understand the issues and get involved to strengthen and empower
neighborhoods, our families and communities before it is too late.
Long live Rev. Martin Luther King! Long live Mahatma Gandhi!