“All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Part II – Kismet: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr ~ A Single Garment of Destiny
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr left an indelible mark on the lives of many around the world. Today, as we celebrate the enormous impact his life’s work and divine calling had on the Civil Rights Movement, I am again drawn to the subject of destiny. As Dr King so eloquently explains above, all life is interrelated and it behooves us to recognize that when we deny others the right to be, we inevitably diminish our own chance at true greatness. It was with this spirit that he carried the torch of equality in his heart, knowing somehow, that even if he did not reach that promised land or place of freedom, others will definitely get there. We are all cloaked in that garment of destiny; albeit to different degrees.
As I was pondering which story to share with you today, I re-read I’ve Been To The Mountaintop on Wikipedia and felt compelled to share both an excerpt of the speech and the back-story with you below. What is so striking about that speech, aside from it being his last one, is the tone of finality and the assurance in a higher power or intelligence.
And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And 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. MLK
On April 3,1968, the day before he was assassinated, Dr. King addressed a rally at the Mason Temple in Memphis Tennessee. He had delivered a speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” and made a reference to the fact that his flight to Memphis had been delayed by a bomb threat. The excerpt above was his final comment and essentially the last portion of his final public speech to us all. He left with his entourage and checked into Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel. Read: More below…
“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The following day, April 4, 1968, he was in the company of The Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Jesse Jackson and other close friends. Ben Branch, a musician, was also present and scheduled to play that night at an event that Dr King was to attend. According to Jesse, Dr. King’s last words on the balcony before he was murdered were said to Ben. He said, “Ben, make sure you play “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.”
In that poignant moment, just before he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet, Dr. King prophetically gave us a reminder about the single garment of destiny that enfolds us: Remember to include the well being of others in the play of life, and for those who are open to the idea of praise, prayer, prophesy and worship, Remember to ask – Take My Hand Precious Lord.
Dr King’s eloquence and courage has always been a source of fascination and pride to me. It is my hope that we will continue to honor his legacy and spirit by honoring the best in each other. What are your thoughts? Do Share!
Positive Motivation Tip: When you feel down, reach out and help your fellow man. Good begets good.
- “Day of Service for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” and related posts (my.barackobama.com)
- “VIDEO: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” and related posts (newsjunkiepost.com)
- Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King’s Life and Legacy (whitehouse.gov)
- Movies to Celebrate the Life and Work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (beliefnet.com)
- Dr. King and New York City (cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com)
PHOTO CREDITS: Dr Martin Luther King, Jr via Wikipedia & Credit: National Archives and Records Administration