I imagine that Martin Luther King, Jr., never had an ordinary day. Instead, his sense of mission and capacity to lead and unite made him extraordinary in every way and even when engaged in the banalities of life, he hovered above the ordinary.
The plan for today was to take the kids to the MLK celebration parade and march from the UT campus to Huston-Tillotson College. However, at the last minute the ordinary took possession of the morning with a remembered orthodontist appointment. It would have been the second time I cancelled so our day went in a different direction.
Everywhere I went people were having ordinary days and it got me thinking about the extraordinary and why it seems so elusive. The world needs more extraordinary.
As I waited for Lila to get her new wires I looked up quotes taken from speeches given by Dr. King. The more I read, the more he made the ordinary sound extraordinary.
He talked about standing with our neighbors, speaking our truth, love, forgiveness and service. His words made my life and efforts seem less ordinary. He made me believe that all extraordinary actions rise up from the ordinary. It’s far more simple and human than we dare to believe. Justice and Equality begin in our ordinary lives by how we treat ourselves, one another, and our communities.
The rest of our day was filled with a visit from a long-time friend and her young son. Later in the afternoon we worked in the community garden pulling weeds and watering. We stayed until early evening. The golden light of the setting winter sun made everything look extraordinary.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
End note: I took the photograph in 2008 on the corner of Leona Street and East 12th, Austin, Texas.