“Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.”

—  Vittorio Alfieri

Since I share a birthday with Dr. Martin Luther King, I was a little bit miffed when the national holiday was made a Monday holiday.  I would rather have had my own birthday off each year.  Then it occurred to me that as a mother of many, having my birthday as a day off from school would likely create more work than celebration for me; so I got on board with Monday.  Today I am feeling as though the Monday holiday gives me twice the time to celebrate the ideals of peace, brotherhood, equality and unity.  Dr. King had the courage to speak out against injustice and it cost him his life.  The best tribute we can pay to him is to have the courage to speak out and keep his dream alive.

Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.

We must find the courage to live the ideal of peace and to greet anger with kindness, injury with pardon, and wounding with healing.  We must find the courage to reach beyond the differences that divide us from others and take hold of the things that are our shared human birthright.  We must find the courage to see that our brothers and sisters who think different thoughts or express their love for others in different languages and through different deities are no different that we are.  We must find the courage to celebrate the unity of the whole family of mankind and value the many varieties of human beings who share our world.

We must have the courage not to die, but to live — and to keep alive the dream of a world where all are one.