Looking back at Martin Luther King Jr.’s life work shows a man who was empowered by his revolutionary spirit. As many people take his day of remembrance as an opportunity to post flowery quotes, I feel his most crucial statements get overlooked. Dr. King was truly a revolutionary who would act to change an unjust world. He once said, “Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.”
We still deal with many issues today that Dr. King fought, which many of us have gotten complacent over. Recent census data shows that half of the U.S. population qualifies as poor or low income, with one in five millennials living in poverty. In 2011, 16.7 million children lived in food insecure households. A 2013 UNICEF report ranked the U.S. as having the second highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world. Would Dr. King think that is acceptable?
Many mainstream society members blame poor education or drugs and alcohol on the homeless. Society often blames the homeless for not “getting a job”. Did you know that 44% of homeless people are employed? We can throw the homeless man a dime, or we can start to look at the big picture, like Dr. King would.
We live in a financial landscape where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Such a small group of people control most of the world’s wealth and resources. Our societal abundance is being choked by the greedy few. We keep giving the majority of our wealth to corporations as mom and pop shops are closing their doors. Where we spend our money truly dictates our financial landscape. If you want a revolution, start by revolutionizing your life. Live closer to work. Stop paying so much in gas. Spend money at a local shop versus a place that outsources to make their shareholders richer. Does your company help or inhibit this cause?
Today, take the opportunity to re-evaluate the life you lead and the world in which you live. Which structures need to be reconstructed to better suit everyone and everything that shares this planet? Don’t be complacent when you see others suffer. In Dr. King’s name, take action to make the necessary changes. One man did so much and had a profound impact on all of us. Imagine a world where everyone led their life by their own revolutionary spirit.