The Fierce Urgency Of NOW
By Seth Matlins (We first posted this piece on Father’s Day 2011. In honor of MLK Day, we’re reposting it now.)
A father walks down the path to his house with his son. A simple and quiet moment captured, that stands in relatively stark contrast to the images of MLK we all know so well.
Dr. King was a parent; sometimes we can forget that about him. A person and a parent who looked at the world and knew he needed to stand up and speak up for change, for justice, and for truth. For a lot of people. For his children.
And Dr. King didn’t just have a dream, he had a timetable. The changes he spoke for, dreamed of, and fought to create, needed to happen “now”. He didn’t just urge us to end discrimination and economic injustice, he urged our embrace of “the fierce urgency” of the moment.
As we look at this picture of Dr. King walking up the steps to his home with his baby boy, we’re reminded that life changes quickly and sometimes irrevocably, sometimes for the worse. We can rarely plan for this. But we can embrace this moment, this now, and commit to not losing another one because of injustices big and small, societal and personal. At least not without speaking up and sharing our truth.
So, as we pay homage to an agent of change and a voice of truth, let’s remember that while progress is undeniable, just because things are better-than-unacceptable ought not trigger or put a salve on our complacency. There’s a lot of fighting still to do, and the responsibility for that and for our happy…is where it’s always been – on us.
So for MLK, for you, for her, for them, let’s keep the conversation going, and the (sometimes internal) struggle for better, fairer, and happier marching on. If we share the fierce urgency of now and the vision, let’s share the work. It’ll get done a lot faster that way. Happy Birthday, Dr. King.
What changes do you want to see? In you? Out there? Tell us. We’re listening