Day 19: MLK Day

Last spring, I saw a production of “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall at Gablestage Theater in Coral Gables, Florida. It’s a two person drama that fictionalization MLK’s last night on earth, in the hotel room in Memphis where he was shot. The other character in he play is a maid, who it turns out (spoiler alert) isn’t a real person. She’s an angel coming to take him home.

It’s a great play, allowing us to imagine what MLK the man, weary from travel and missing his family, encountering every day working black people, might be like. How hard it is to hold onto our ideals even at the end of a long day, even when the world seems to want to beat it out of you. How hard it is to live up to our own ideals when other people project things (good and bad) onto you.

Of course, the irony is that this is when we need out ideals most of all – when we are ready to give up hope.

Which reminds me of this famous passage:

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to implement. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever-approaching thunder which will destroy us too, I can feel the suffering of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquillity will return again. In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.” — Anne Frank, July 1944

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~ by realsupergirl on January 20, 2015.

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