Today, of course, is the day we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday.  In his long legacy of achievements, the one that stands out most is his leadership during the 1963 March on Washington.  Here, Dr. King helped the nation see that they were part of a larger dream and the discussion about race relations was elevated to a higher purpose than black vs. white.

I think about what it took to assemble 200,000 people on the Mall in 1963. There was no social media to put out the word. No email or internet. No cell phones or texting.  The phones required toll charges to call long distance. Air travel was not nearly as popular or accessible as it is today.  Just for that many people to know about the event, let alone have the means to attend it, is astounding.

It reminded me of a story someone once shared with me when I was protesting that I had to have my phone with me in case of emergency.  “If it is a true emergency, people will find you in the deepest part of the jungle,” she said. “There are always ways to get you the message if it is truly important.”

I believe the same was true with the March on Washington.  Despite the limitations in communication and the hardships in travel, people heard about the event because it was that important.  

Take a moment today to reflect on the message of Dr. King and use the many easy forms of communication at your fingertips to share it from the mountaintops.  Our country needs to hear it as much now as it did those 40+ years ago.

— beth triplett


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