MCC Daily Tribune
President's Wednesday Message
This week, we paused to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. Because of intersession, MCC holds its commemoration of the life and legacy of Dr. King in February, but this week, we joined the nation in pausing to reflect on his lasting impact and too-timely words.
Most of us are familiar with Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and "I Have a Dream" speech. Each year on the day set aside to honor his birthday, I make a point of seeking out a speech or essay that is less familiar to me. This weekend, I read Dr. King's June 1965 speech at Oberlin College, "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution," which has as its central theme the connection that links humanity across racial and ethnic differences in an ever-smaller world. At a time when such connections become more frayed and fragile seemingly every day, his teachings on this topic are incredibly important. Over five decades ago, Dr. King was pushing us to be our best selves by understanding that our responsibility to and for each other was grounded in much more than altruism; it was essential to our survival:
"Anyone who feels that we can live in isolation today, anyone who feels that we can live without being concerned about other individuals and other nations is sleeping through a revolution. The world in which we live is geographically one ... we've made of this world a neighborhood. And now through our moral and ethical commitment we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers - or we will all perish together as fools. This is the great issue facing us today. No individual can live alone; no nation can live alone. We are tied together. ... all mankind is tied together; all life is interrelated, and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
In today's political and cultural climate, Dr. King's warning about the ignorance of isolation and his lesson on the fundamental connection we all have should strike a chord. This speech is not a dusty historical document but a dynamic call to action. In our past, present, and future, we are tied together and must learn how to live together respecting and bridging differences and seeking out and building connections. Our community at MCC is a microcosm of the world: a neighborhood that requires commitment to be a brotherhood and sisterhood. Together, we sustain this commitment by living our values--integrity, excellence, empowerment, inclusiveness, collaboration and stewardship--in our relationships with our students and each other. Our dedication to each other, to these values, and to MCC's mission strengthens the community inside and outside of our walls; it brings vitality and strength to our neighborhood.
Thank you for your commitment and dedication to MCC.
What words from Dr. King do you find personally meaningful? Share them on the blog.