Today’s MLK Day! I’ve given up thinking that someday there might be a HMW day—my initials—most likely because if your last initial has three syllables, the acronym becomes at least five syllables long and that doesn’t roll off the tongue. At best, you become dubyah like #43—but I don’t think there will ever be a Dubyah Day—no class to the way it sounds at all—so that’s why I’ve given up hope!
To be totally honest, most of us don’t have national holidays named after us regardless of our initials because we haven’t done what it takes. Here is what you have to do to be a national acronym:
- Do something impossible. Most people thought that changing the laws regarding civil rights was probably a century-long process. Nobody really dreamed that in one person’s lifetime, a whole country could go from totally segregated to electing a black president. For Dr. King and those like him, it was possible.
- Advocate something so important that you are willing to die for it. We all know about President Lincoln’s assassination because of the drama, but how dangerous was it in 1861 to be considered the fuse that lit the civil war. The movie Lincoln did a great job showing how Lincoln was willing to spend all of his political capital, to stake his entire reputation—even risk his life—to eliminate slavery from the Union. You don’t have to die violently—but you have to have a cause for which you will risk everything!
- Assume that you will spend your whole life working from a minority position. If you like what most people like, if you need lots of approval before you take a position, if you need to be a “winner,” you probably will never have your own day.
- Visit and get comfortable with the fringe! Similar to number 3, but perhaps more in the realm of ideas instead of people. Most revolutions occur by foment on the fringe of a culture or society. Many of the leaders of the American Revolution were people who you would consider fringe people. These kinds of people make normal people uncomfortable. They might be considered radical!
- In spite of the previous four conditions, you have to be a person that others will listen to and work with because you cannot accomplish anything alone! Lincoln was elected, MLK had millions who listened to his speeches, the leaders of the American revolution raised armies of volunteers who were willing to die for political freedom.
I am a Christian who is challenged by these thoughts. Christians are rushing towards the middle of the masses of society, hoping to mainstream and not be considered a fringe element. Jesus did not do that.
I think He would tell us to be strong and courageous and to not be afraid. We don’t need our own day because we have His Day, the Lord’s Day.