It’s times like these that I wonder how a particular trajectory of society intersected at the correct moment with a man of courage, conviction and love. I’m not usually a believer in fate, but it’s times like these when I question my confidence in the randomness of events.
I know very little of Martin Luther King outside of the legend. I was a teenager when he was assassinated and although his struggles didn’t at the time seem to affect me personally, we had been living in the decade of assassinations of decency and I knew even then, perhaps with only a faint intuition, that there are evil forces in the world that cannot abide the light.
The thing that struck me then and sticks with me now, decades later, is that history and circumstance demanded a beacon, and Dr. King rose to the occasion. I don’t know if he pushed his calling, or was pulled by the tide of changes that of necessity had to come to the land, but either way, he not only rose to the occasion, he inspired decades that had not yet unreeled to stand for the idea that “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”