Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” The third Monday of January each year is when we celebrate the life and are reminded of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he stood for throughout the Civil Rights Movement for African Americans.
While he fought several years for the rights of African Americans through the Civil Rights Movement, he did so by displaying what he stood for in his core, with his character. Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to promote peace and love while trying to stand for the injustice that took place throughout the entire country during that time period.
Although his efforts, along with those who worked closely with him and elsewhere, caused changes to be made throughout the country at that time, there are still many social issues that continue to take place regardless of religion, gender, color of skin. People of constantly being judged because of where they came from or what their beliefs are. For example, at one point in my teaching career, I worked at a school where the students were predominantly Muslim. The first couple of months were an adjustment for me because I had grown up in a very conservative Christian family and community. However, I quickly learned, despite the fact that the students and their families believed differently than me, that they too had a set of core values and were made to be who they were as individuals. They didn’t fit the stereotypical norms of those who have joined groups.
Another social issue that is often discussed with judgement and cruelty is the LGBTQ community and the choices that people often face while being a part of the community. While I don’t always understand what it’s like to have to make choices due to my sexual preference, I have had the pleasure of meeting several people who are lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender. At the center of each of them, they are searching for their place in the world, just like anyone else is. They struggle just as much as anyone else, if not more, to find their identity.
As I continue to learn new things about different people, I am continuously encouraged by the quote previously mentioned by Martin King Luther, Jr. Everyone is pink on the inside; we all essentially have the same body parts. However, our character is what makes us who we are as individuals, not the color of our skin, our gender preference, or our religion. While some of those things play a roll in building our character, those things are only parts of what makes us…us.
So, before you judge a person by their skin color, gender preference, or religion, get to know that person and try to understand their viewpoint.
“Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes.” BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2017. <https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/martinluth297516.html>.