Today we are celebrating the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. We are doing this not because he was a politician or statesman. Today we celebrate and pay homage to a man who led people to become united. He influenced a generation to take deliberate action. But it was the way he encouraged that action to be taken that we most admire.

In a time without social media, this man motivated and united a group of people who felt as though they were without power. However, on several occasions we were able to face our foes and bring about a victory. He traveled around the south, spreading his word in the churches. Then he brought people together to WALK in defiance of laws that were antiquated.

One simple action: WALKING created anxiety and restlessness in those who benefited from the continued maltreatment of Black’s in America. Back then we were referred to as Negro or Colored.The power that simple actions created were often realized by WALKING.

Time and time again there were many ordinary people who took simple action and converted it into something that was extraordinary. The most famous of these was Rosa Parks. She was an ordinary working woman who was tired after working a long hard day. She sat down in a seat on a bus in the seats just behind the “White Section”. When a white man entered the bus, the bus driver ordered (as was customary) those in the the seats that Rosa was occupying to give up their seat for this gentleman.

It was quite customary back in those days to defer to the “White People” regardless of your sex or status. On this particular day Rosa refused to get up out of her seat. This simple action gave way to another simple action, “Boycotting”. To this day there has never been another boycott in this country that brought so many people together in a non violent way. Without physically harming anyone, Blacks in Alabama effectively boycotted the buses until the companies who owned the buses almost went out of business.

For me today is a day of celebrating the unity that Martin Luther King Jr’s leadership brought to all of us. Whether we actually marched with Mr. King or have been the recipient of times made easier as a result of his direction, in some way we all have been forever touched by the results of the victories he won. As I reflect on where we are I also do not lose sight on how much more we can accomplish through simple yet purposeful action.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to one and all!!