This morning I listened to one of MLK’s greatest speeches, I Have Been to the Mountaintop.
He ends with a great quote about how he isn’t worried about anything, even though many people had made threats to kill him, because he’s looked “over the mountaintop” and seen “the Promised Land.”
King was shot the next morning.
I got that feeling I get after I listen to any NPR interview or TED Talk: a huge rush of inspiration and drive to make a change. There is this amazing paragraph in the speech. He says,
“Now we’re going to march again, and we’ve got to march again, in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be — and force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God’s children here suffering, sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That’s the issue. And we’ve got to say to the nation: We know how it’s coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.”
It got me thinking about protesting. Marches and peaceful assemblies are so inspirational. Traumatic and dangerous, sometimes, but they’re inspirational. Gathering up people who believe so passionately about the same things is so much more powerful than going it alone.
“And so I’m happy, tonight.
I’m not worried about anything.
I’m not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!”