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January 19, 2004

So Much In So Little Time

Derek Shackelford

On this national holiday celebrating the birth of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we realize that he would have been 75 years of age. In taking a retrospective look at his life, we see that this man accomplished a great deal in his lifetime. It does not matter the length of life, but the quality in which we live our lives.

To put this all in perspective, Dr. King graduated from Morehouse at 19; was licensed to preach at 19; pastored his first church at the age of 25; received his doctorate degree at 26; led a national civil rights movement at 26; started a national organization called Southern Christian Leadership Conference at 28; delivered what is arguably the greatest speech of all time - “I Have A Dream” - at the March on Washington; received the Nobel Peace Prize at 35; and was pictured on the cover of Time Magazine at 35.

He accomplished all of this while most of us make excuses why we can’t have this and can’t do that. As we haven’t mentioned the time he spent in jail for standing up for truth and justice.

Unfortunately, Dr. King was gunned down at the tender age of 39. The dreamer may have been killed but the dream lives on. I know we haven‘t gotten to the Promised Land yet, but, Dr. King, one day we will get there. And we celebrate this day, let us be mindful that Dr. King did so much for others in a short span of time.

The challenge that is before us is: What are we going to do?

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