A Look at the Bright Side of Life

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A Great Day for A Great Man

Not unlike any other time, I found myself reading the most recent Buyer’s Guide today. And as usual I was thrilled  with what I found within its pages.  On page 3 there’s an article titled “Things you might not know about Dr. King”. The contents of this article is below:

Well respected, honored and appreciated for his civil rights activism, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rightfully earned his place as one of the most influential figures in American and world history. Through his religious teachings and social activism, Dr. King played a key role in the American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and the 1960s.

While Dr. King lived a good portion of his life in the public eye, many facts of his life are not widely known. In honor of his birthday and Black History Month, the following are some interesting and less publicized facts about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth name was not “Martin,” but “Michael.” Dr. King’s father traveled to Germany and became inspired by Protestant reformer Martin Luther and thus changed his name while also changing the name of his then 5-year-old-son.
  2. Dr. King was a prodigious student. Not only did he skip two grades and start college before formally graduating high school, but Dr. King also earned a bachelor’s degree at age 19, graduating from Morehouse College in 1948 with a degree in sociology.
  3. Though not a singer, Dr. King earned a posthumous Grammy Award nonetheless. In 1971, Dr. King was awarded Best Spoken Word album for “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.”
  4. Although people cannot readily find photographs of Dr. King smoking, he was a regular smoker and even hid the habit from the public and from his children so they wouldn’t take up smoking. It was believed Dr. King was smoking a cigarette when he was fatally shot.
  5. While Dr. King is remembered as an enthralling public speaker, he actually scored poorly in public speaking during his first year at seminary.  He received a “C” in the class but earned straight “As” by his final year.
  6. Dr. King was a “Star Trek” fan.  He convinced actress Nichelle Nichols, who played the role of “Uhura” on the show, to continue working with the series.  Nichols was considering leaving, but Dr. King told her she was breaking boundaries by playing a character who didn’t conform to black stereotypes.
  7. Dr. King narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on September 20, 1958.  On that day, Dr. King was in Harlem signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” when he approached by a woman who stabbed him with a letter opener.  He barely survived.
  8. Dr. King’s speech in Memphis in April 1968 may have prophesied his death.  Speaking to an audience at Mason Temple Church, King said, “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now…I’ve seen the Promised Land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people with get to the Promised Land.”
  9. Dr. King’s birthday is now observed as a national holiday in the United States.  President Ronald Reagan signed the bill in 1983.  The only other American to earn this honor is George Washington.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Yes…

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Christmastime has arrived.  And with it the stories of Christmases past and present, both real and fiction come to mind.  One of the most famous stories about this holiday is the one about the little girl who questioned if indeed Santa Claus did exist.  The little girl was an eight year old Virginia O’Hanlon who wrote a letter to the editor of the New York’s Sun.  Despite my frequent reading, this story had evaded me until 2013, when I read it in the December 26th edition of the Eatonton Messenger.  Below is a reprint of the newspaper editorial that was originally printed on September 21, 1897.

Yes, Virginia…

Dear editor:  I am 8 years old.  Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.  Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’  Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

 Virginia O’Hanlon, 115 W. 59th St.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong.  They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age.  They do not believe except they see.  They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.  All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little.  In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.  He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.  Alas!  How dreary would be the world if there no Santa Claus.  It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.  There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. …

Not believe in Santa Claus!  You might as well not believe in fairies!  You might get your papa to hire men to watch in  all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove?  Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus.  The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.  Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn?  Of course no, but that’s no proof that they are not there.  Nobody can can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart.  Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond.  Is it all real?  Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus!  Thank God!  he lives, and he lives forever.  A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

And with that I would like to say…

Merry-Christmas

 

A Break in the Routine

Doing the same old thing you’re used to will not produce any new results.  Or at least that is what I have come to believe.  A Sunday morning several weeks ago, I found myself doing something that I never do.  I turned my radio on and listened to a sermon.  The preacher said that when people are mean to you they are lost.  It instantly put a smile on my face.  There are times when I wonder why people are mean to me and who better to provide an explanation than a preacher.

 

What have you done to venture away from your norm to find good and unexpected results?

Welcome!

Hi there! How did it feel to travel all that way? Huh is what you’re thinking. Well, you have successfully made it to my world. Make yourself at home and enjoy the stories, scenery, and other things that I have to share with you to make your day just a little brighter. Please do come back to visit soon.