I did try
'Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life's final common denominator - that something we call death.
We all think about it and every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don't think about it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself what it is that I would want said and I leave the word to you.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don't want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy tell him not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want him to say.
Tell him not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize - that isn't important. Tell him not to mention that have 300 or 400 other awards - that's not important. Tell him not to mention where I went to school.
I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe the naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to, say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.
I won't have any money to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that is all I want to say. If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or a song, if I can show somebody he's traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain.'
(Martin Luther King Jr. - his final sermon, the day before his assassination in 1968)
17/11/2022 01:36:29 pm
Wow Nick - it's so profoundly written!
17/11/2022 01:38:28 pm
Hi Jasmin. Yes, Martin Luther King was an incredibly insightful and gifted orator whose words were made all the more powerful by living what he spoke and taught. What a true inspiration!
17/11/2022 08:11:07 pm
Hi Nick. It sounds like you may be thinking about your own legacy too? What is the life and legacy we want to leave behind us?
17/11/2022 08:16:12 pm
Hi Anastasia. That's very perceptive. Yes, there feels like a strong resonance for me between MLK's words and the legacy I want and hope to leave behind my own life too. On that theme, these short pieces may resonate too?
17/11/2022 08:18:09 pm
Thanks Nick. I'm curious - what is the legacy you want to leave behind you? I can see sense glimpses of it in your writings...
17/11/2022 08:47:21 pm
Hi Anastasia. Your question made me think hard. I want to be able to say:
17/11/2022 09:32:37 pm
18/11/2022 10:13:55 am
Thank you, Arman. Yes, the contrast between the stance that MLK took in life couldn't be more starkly different to that which Adolf Hitler took. It poses a challenge to each one of us - to take a stance - and to choose a path of Light over a path of darkness.
18/11/2022 10:18:17 am
Hi Nick. I love this! Can you recommend any further readings from Martin Luther King?
18/11/2022 10:20:58 am
Thank you, Derek. Yes, I can certainly recommend a book called, 'A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches'. During my theological studies many years ago, I used to read an extract from the book every day to help keep myself grounded in reality!
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