What if MLK had lived to lead?
Today the nation celebrates the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the great civil rights leader of the 1960s who's life was tragically cut short on April 4, 1968 by an assassin's bullet.
In November, as the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, people pondered his presidency and speculated about how the nation and the world might have been different had he not died in Dallas, but lived to serve a full term as president.
We might wonder today about how the nation might be different if Dr. King had lived a long, full life and continued his leadership in the area of racial and civil rights.
King was a man of deep Christian faith and moral convictions. He strongly believed in non-violent confrontation as a means of changing the racist systems of the day. He believed in the importance of education.
Today, nearly 45 years after his death, the nation has made progress in legislating against discriminatory practices, but we still struggle with "minority gaps" in employment, in educational achievement, in income disparity, in family stability.
We wonder what impact Dr. King might have had on these problem areas if he had been around, offering his leadership and example. Perhaps a lot, perhaps none. We can only know that it is up to all of us to take up his mantle on these issues.