When I was a kid, living in the country, I learned about MLK in the weeks preceding our day off of school to “celebrate” this soul and his message. None of it, however, made it through my filters. I could not relate to him at all. The dated clothes and hair styles, the sea of black people in the old black and white photos, none of it seemed relevant to me. What could any of this possibly mean to a blond haired, blue eyed girl trying desperately to figure out how to meet Simon Lebon and master baton twirling? Nothing. I’m the first to admit that it took decades for me to really sit with the profundity of his teachings and realize this soul, was carrying an incredible spark, and with such grace. His overriding message of “love in action” speaks to the core principle of the human desire to thrive and yet it often falls on deaf ears.

Please tell me who, deep down inside, does not want to be loved, uplifted, cherished, comforted? Who does not want the compassionate guidance of caring souls to help them right their ship when they make the inevitable learning mistakes required for evolution in life? Who does not want a strong, caring hand to step in and help when they are struggling? Who doesn’t want a compassionate voice to respectfully provide feedback and opportunities for growth? Who cannot appreciate a differing opinion that can be provided with respect for your own?  A hand on your back to lift you up when you tumble? A hug, a handshake, a pat on the back. A “you have got this go for it, I believe in you!” Really... who, among us, does not want this?

Yet so many do not see or live the “love in action” message. Why? It’s simply because of our filters. It’s easy to see the slippery slope that lead us here. Everything about our culture conditions us to have these strong filters; filters of fear, selfishness, division, hate, scarcity. All positioning us to maintain a struggle to survive rather than a unity in which we thrive. We learn to see differences instead of similarities. We learn to not be able to relate to one another and to fill that seeming void with negativity and pain. This mindset keeps us fearful of each other and divided. This mindset is not just a filter though. It’s a prison.

Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?
— Jalaluddin Rumi

We remain prisoners of our own minds until we become able to free ourselves to the unity and love that is the very fabric of our being. People united in love and unity have a synergistic power.   But where would we learn about this love and unity if we don’t have experiences and people to teach us? Isn't it time that we teach ourselves and each other every single day simply by loving one another.

Be that person who teaches love and unity through love in action. How can love move through you in every person you encounter, every word spoken? Every action, every choice? Yes, you can still exercise your free will, you can still be strong. There is no greater or more empowering strength than love. What is the worry of saying no from a place of love? Why not stand your ground with grace and respect for another? Make “love in action” your mantra for your being and doing. How can every single situation, event, encounter and experience you have be transformed through love in action?

Practice Love In Action:

Love is a powerful force. With every person you encounter, hold them in your heart, just for a moment. Just long enough to recognize their humanity, their need, their love. Look them in the eyes and see what one might see if they truly looked into your eyes.  

It really boils down to this: That all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever effects one directly effects all indirectly.
— Martin Luther King jr.