When I was in 5th grade I had to do a report on someone I admired. I chose Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I remember taking a shoe box and making a pretty good diorama of the outside of room 306 of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated. Looking back now, I don't know why I chose that scene, but I do know that from an early age, my siblings and I were taught that Dr. King was a great man and someone to be admired and I have looked to his teachings in times of anger, hurt, and injustice as a way to find a better way to cope with things that feel unfair.
In the past few weeks I have had to really remember those teachings and try to cling to the message of love he shared with us all. When we feel betrayed, wronged or wounded, it is easier to hate than to love. It can feel impossible to "turn the other cheek" and "love thy neighbor" when you really want to give them a nice punch to the throat, but Dr. King has shown us that it can be done, we just need to have the courage to do it.
Today as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., let's all try to show love, kindness and compassion to all people, even those we struggle with. disagree with or have bad feelings towards. Remember what Dr. King said: "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."