How a person celebrates a holiday is a very personal thing. Sure, the biggies have some common traditions. You know, Christmas trees, Fourth of July fireworks, Easter egg hunts, and Valentine cards. Many have picnics and parades, but others may have some more unique occurrences.
I was told recently of a person who truly loved New Year's Eve and always celebrated it with the banging of pots and pans. Really? New Year's Eve? I think it's sort of a silly holiday, but I guess that's just me.
It would probably bewilder some people to find out that I love Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I've never attended a special ceremony on the day and I don't get a vacation day from work on this federal holiday, but I love it nonetheless.
Credit: '[Rev. Martin Luther King, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right, speaking at a rally in Crawfordville, Georgia].' United Press International telephoto,1965 Oct 11. Prints and Photographs Divison of the Library of Congress.
Each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day I read at least one of his speeches or sermons. I am always amazed at his oratory prowess and his messages. I wish I knew more about Martin Luther King Jr.; I wish I was somewhat of a scholar of him. But alas those are wishes I have yet to put much effort into-very unMLKJish I suspect.
The piece of King's that I read usually has much more to do about the top choices when I Google his name that day than any real rhyme or reason.
This year the document of choice was his sermon "Rediscovering Lost Values" preached on Feb. 28, 1954. It was made available thanks to the The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu, which I later found out was logically launched Monday. So check it out if you want to read some of his works.
As expected, King's words still ring true today. "There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong," he said.
I couldn't help but think of the proliferation, or perhaps I should say cancer, of constant cell phone use, largely for texting and social media, when I read, "The real problem is that through our scientific genius we've made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we've failed to make of it a brotherhood.
"My friends, all I'm trying to say is that if we are to go forward today, we've got to go back and rediscover some mighty precious values that we've left behind. That's the only way that we would be able to make of our world a better world, and to make of this world what God wants it to be and the real purpose and meaning of it."