Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the many people who changed the world and its vision to what we see today. With Mahatma Gandhi as his role model to carry out non-violent protests, he was able to have a major impact on the civil rights that give us our freedom today. Because of his contributions to today's society and the world, every year on Jan. 15, we celebrate him as our way of saying thank you for the risks he took for the freedom we have. Using the freedom we have today, we have to see where it originated from and that was from Dr. King's idea and vision of love.
Dr. King was a great activist at the time, and many know him simply for his civil rights movement and famous "I Have a Dream" speech. However, there is one aspect of all of this that is often forgotten. That is his idea of love and how it is the key to building healthy relationships and social interactions even today. In other words, it was as if he was telling us that no love equals no happiness, which is often needed. When it came to love he often used the term agape because he did not mean the heartfelt love we know today.
“In speaking of love we are not referring to some sentimental emotion. It would be nonsense to urge men to love their oppressors in an affectionate sense[…] When we speak of loving those who oppose us […] we speak of a love which is expressed in the Greek word Agape. Agape means nothing sentimental or basically affectionate; it means understanding, redeeming goodwill for all [sic] men, an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return.”
These ideas of love were not only used in order to get free; they still matter today. With all the violence today, such as the killing of African-Americans by police officers, we are desperately in need of his philosophies today. With everyone dependent on each other, this will allow for everyone to be able to lean on each other with love and rebuild what has been demolished. His visions prove and state what the actual means of the democracy are versus what it was intended to be.
As he once stated in his own words:
"If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t walk run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means, keep moving."
Even when the nation is divided into its thousands of parts, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. are what bring us together in good and bad times because we were and still are inspired by him. He will always have a very special space in our hearts as a way to thank him for everything he has done from getting us equality, freedom and philosophies that still help us today.