Celebrating MLK Day
Dr. Martin Luther King often spoke of his love for animalsPublished January 21, 2013
Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday to honor a truly great man, whose dream that one day it would be possible for all people of different religions, races and beliefs to ultimately join together in peace and unconditional love. We can make this dream come true by taking time to celebrate our differences in the same way that we embrace our commonality.
Tragically, on April 4, 1968 Dr. King’s life was ended prematurely by a sniper’s bullet. But we must not permit that blazing light of love that shined in his heart to be extinguished, and let it be a beacon leading us down a path of inclusion, hope and joy.
While Dr. King prayed for peace and for the healing of relationships between all people, his dreams were not only limited to his aspirations for the human race. He often spoke about his love for animals. He said, "One day the absurdity of the most universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them."
In a powerful analogy, Dr. King said, ““The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.”
A great admirer of Mahatma Gandhi, the brilliant and passionate advocate for peace and non-violence, Dr. King’s dream that people will someday learn to relate with one another with respect and understanding that all living beings must be honored and cared for with great responsibility and unconditional love echoed the words that Gandhi wrote, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way animals are treated."
Often, when I am watching our two beautiful cats while they sleep deeply, tightly snuggled together with their paws intertwined, I find myself profoundly longing for the time that humanity will be able to co-exist as peacefully.
Perhaps after all, it’s possible that our beloved animals have been given to us to be teachers that are just as powerful as Mahatma Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King. At the very least, I would certainly like to think so.
So today, for inspiration and to bring Dr. King’s dream to life, take a moment to watch the compelling video of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream”, speech uploaded to YouTube by Edgar Baltazar.
What dreams do you have? Tell us in a comment.