Feature Article of Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Columnist: Eyiah, Joseph Kingsley
By Joe Kingsley Eyiah, OCT, Brookview Middle School, Toronto-Canada
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.”
– Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream Quote
January 16, 2012 was celebrated as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is a day that reminds us of the ideals of Dr. King Jr. A man of peace! Peace is the most precious commodity that the world needs! Conflicts, racism, discrimination, and oppression are some of the vices which are ripping countries apart.
Yes! I couldn’t agree with Martin Luther King Jr. in his statement that, “Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” He declared that he had a dream for a more peaceful and united society, he envisioned that one day little children of all races would be able to walk down the street hand-in-hand!
King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15. This year the celebration of the day fell on January 16, 2012. The day was used by many, especially students in USA and Canada to reflect on the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. which drives our society on the wheels of social justice! My school used the day to engage students in focusing on their individual dreams that could help make them better students and better persons! It is my prayer that as we reflect on the dream and speeches of Dr. King, we will remind ourselves that according to Dr. King, the purpose of education is: “To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.”
Words We Use Must Uplift and Build Us as Human Beings
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a Minister of the Gospel, admonishes us to be careful with the words we use on other people. The Bible says in Proverbs 12:25 that, “An anxious heart weighs a man down but a kind word cheers him up.” How true! The words we use can build or destroy; unite or divide; bring peace or tension (even war) and so on.
Pronouncements of Some Ministers of the Gospel and Politicians in Ghana Recently:
Of late an unfortunate development of unkind words being used by some Pastors and some politicians in Ghana leaves much to be desired in our beloved country. One could refer to news coverage of some Pastors using words of curse on innocent children in their efforts to prove that they are ‘powerful’! Such unbridled tongues have been left to ride their freedom in the country. This is very sad indeed. However, judgment of the Almighty God awaits those who use words to destroy others. Remember, our deeds and words will be brought to judgment one day!
Radio stations are being used to insult people in authority, including even the President of the nation by politicians who ought to know better! Our political divide has become acrimonious and very shameful. How can we develop as a nation if we are at each other’s throat? Let’s pause and reflect on the following words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that “Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”
The culture of Ghana has strong foundation in respect for authority and hospitality towards strangers. These cornerstones of our culture should not be sacrificed at the altar of hate and indecency!