As we prepare to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let us remember his commitment to service, his call for us to serve one another, especially the less fortunate among us. He said that “”Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
We are here to be the best that we can be and to support others so they, too, can be the best that they can be. We are here to give our unique contributions to the world and to support others so they, too, can give their unique contributions to the world. We are here to help one another, and we do this through altruistic service.
Dr. King dreamed of a just and peaceful society. He called it the Beloved Community.
Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict. (*)
The idea that the application of the ideology of “each man for himself” will create the Beloved Community that Dr. King called us to create is baseless and unsustainable. We are called to practice solidarity, to serve one another, to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers.
We have drifted away from our goals of bringing the Beloved Community into existence.
Government is a big public service agency and those who work there are public servants. In the final analysis, this agency that we the people have created exists to serve all of us, the public, and not to self-serve those who happen to be there. Think of the government as a service organization, one of those we give donations to, and from which we expect the completion of certain tasks and the delivery of certain products and services. We have been giving our donations (not voluntary, but obligatory donations collected through taxes) to this agency, and we must demand it to work to create the society we want: King’s Beloved Community.
The truth is that we have an abundance of resources to take good care of everyone. We have all the resources we need to eradicate homelessness and hunger. We have all that is necessary to support each other’s developments through education and health care.
President Lincoln spoke of the kind of government we all want, a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Let us hope that we can bring about a government that is really of the people, by the people, and for the people. This is the kind of government that “shall not perish from the earth.”
I encourage you to listen to Dr. King’s reminder that everybody can serve.
(*) This description of the Beloved Community comes from The King Center website at http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy
Photo of King by CaboIndex