Monday, January 15, 2007

Measure of A Man


There is a small book by the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. called The Measure of A Man.

It is a "pair of meditations (that) contain the theological roots of his political and social philosophy of non-violent activism."

The title is taken from this quote from Dr. King:

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."


Since coming across that quote in the fall of 2003, I've always wondered if Clay Aiken declined to self-title his first album because he was inspired by Dr. King, or if it was simply providential direction masquerading as coincidence.

Clay's album "Measure of a Man" was released on October 14, 2003 --- the 39th anniversary of the announcement that Dr. King had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Another coincidence, I suppose.

Still, Clay has learned a lot about measuring up to challenge and controversy during his four years in the public eye. I think he's doing just fine, but if Clay ever feels in need of inspiration, it's rather wonderful that we have a national holiday for a man of Dr. King's caliber.

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King.


To read the "I Have a Dream" speech, go HERE.

To read King's Nobel lecture and to hear an excerpt, go HERE.

To read King's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, go HERE.

To find out more about the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, go HERE.

To find out more about the work of The King Center, and to help build "The Beloved Community," go HERE.


A tribute from James Taylor:

"Shed A Little Light"

Let us turn our thoughts today
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the earth
Ties of hope and love
Sister and brotherhood

That we are bound together
In our desire to see the world become
A place in which our children
Can grow free and strong

We are bound together
By the task that stands before us
And the road that lies ahead
We are bound and we are bound

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest

Shed a little light, oh lord
So that we can see
Just a little light, oh lord
Wanna stand it on up
Stand it on up, oh lord
Wanna walk it on down
Shed a little light, oh lord

Can't get no light from the dollar bill
Don't give me no light from a tv screen
When I open my eyes
I wanna drink my fill
From the well on the hill

Do you know what I mean?

Shed a little light, oh lord
So that we can see
Just a little light, oh lord
Wanna stand it on up
Stand it on up, oh lord
Wanna walk it on down
Shed a little light, oh lord

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest

Oh, let us turn our thoughts today
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the earth
Ties of hope and love
Sister and brotherhood



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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your lovely tribute to Dr. King.

The ConCLAYve-Nan said...

Thank you berk for your wonderful blog on Dr. King. "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." How very true and telling during the challenges we face in our world today.

FromClaygary said...

Hi Berk...thanks for the MLK blog, and the links you included. I visited the memorial in Atlanta, and Sweet Auburn, in Aug 2006 and it was one of the most inspiring places I have ever been.
Very fitting dates you've mentioned~I'm not so sure they are coincidental.
Lori

Anonymous said...

Amen!!

TheArtofClay said...

Wonderful post! Thank You!

A most excellent speech by Tim Wise on Dr. King - delivered 2005, but still relevant.

http://www.dubuque.k12.ia.us/Cultureclub/MLK2005/

Pink Armchair said...

This is wonderful, Berk! I love that James Taylor song, too. What a marvelous tribute.