By LAVONNE TURNER, Senior Account Executive, Marx Layne

Today is Martin Luther King Day, for me, a day of gratitude and reflection.

I still get teary eyed when I hear Martin’s speech, I Have Been to the Mountain Top. I wonder how he must have felt living under constant danger and still continue to fight for a cause that was bigger them himself, his wife and children.  I believe his faith kept him.  He feared no man . . . HE was  a child of GOD!

It makes me think of the many individuals that dedicated their lives to African American Freedom and Civil Rights, W. E. B. Du Bois , Malcolm X, Rosa Parks.

If not for them, where would I be  . . . who would I be . . . where would I live?  Which leads me to think about whether I am being the best me possible?  Am I giving back and paying it forward?

Are You?

. . .  We don’t have to argue with anybody.  We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need bricks and bottles, we don’t need any Molotov cocktails, we need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right.  And we’ve come by here ask you to make the first item on your agenda — fair treatment where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow.  And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.

Well, I don’t know what will happen now.  We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now.  Because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And 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 will get to the promised land.  And I’m happy, tonight.  I’m not worried about a thing.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Martin Luther King, 1968, excerpt – I Have Been to the Mountain Top