There are some words that have been echoing in my mind lately as a duty I wake up with and reminder I fall asleep to. I’m not sure why these phrases specifically chose to repeat in my head like a popular song on the radio, and I don’t remember seeing it anywhere but today, it’s very fitting.
“Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” so “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
I’m sure these words are not foreign to you. If not through one of these phrases, many of Martin Luther King Jr.’s other words have influenced us and driven us toward the better in one way or another. For his day of remembrance, I started my morning by reading a few of his powerful speeches and couldn’t help but realize that this man lived a joyful life. Despite his difficulties, the persecution he endured, and the oppression he fought against, he shared the same joy as the Dalai Lama.
I used to complain about things so insignificant and more often than not, they effected my outlook on the rest of the day. But compared to the struggles Martin Luther King Jr. had to endure or the hardships the Dalai Lama had to suffer through, my complaints could even be considered privileges others only dream of. Traffic? If only everyone in Syria could sit in daily commute traffic rather than running to safety from military trucks and gunfire. Sick of leftovers? If only all families in Somalia had the resources to preserve food long enough to feed them for a week. Keeping a mentality of community reminds us that while we suffer, the world suffers with us so we can find joy in unity. If those who face more difficult situations than us can still find compassion, then so can we.
We have more influencers to look towards than the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King Jr.. They’re around us everyday and as long as you keep the well-being of others in the forefront of your thought-processes, you will discover how many inspirations to pursue the joy of the present you’ll find throughout the day. But in honor of today, I wanted to look to Martin Luther King Jr. for more than just his repetitious voice in my head. Having a greater understanding about the foundation of mental joy, his words carry a new level of meaning and encouragement. He embodies what the Dalai Lama teaches about accessing the truest type of joy. And if his words moved you before you knew the fundamentals of joyful living and lasting happiness, imagine what an entire speech will do for you now that you know.
Here’s to you, Dr. King.
DAY 15. Love, Ro