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15 January, 2019

USA INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY TEAM REMEMBERS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE AND AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT LEADER DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. ON HIS 90TH BIRTHDAY -- 15 JANUARY 2019




                On this day, the thoughts of the United States International Men’s Day Team are on the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Had he lived, Thought Leader, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have celebrated his 90th birthday today – Tuesday, 15 January 2019.  Assassinated on Thursday, 4 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 39, during his brief existence on this space and place we know as Planet Earth, Dr. King inspired souls in the United States and nations around the world to transcend boundaries.  He reminded us of the obligation that was imbued upon each of us at the time we emerged from the womb  -- the obligation to transcend and transform the environment we were born into as he provided powerful life lessons about “unarmed truth”, “the power of love”, “connectedness”,  “faith” , “creating uncertainty in an uncertain world”,  and “breaking one’s silence in the midst of injustice”.

            On 10 December 1964, Dr. King accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway and delivered a powerful acceptance speech (https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1964/king/ 26142-martin-luther-king-jr-acceptance-speech-1964/) which reminded the world in 1964 as it continues to remind the world in 2019 about what really matters in Life and how each of us can create certainty in an uncertain world:

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts him.



I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.



I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.



I believe that even amid today's motor bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men.



I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.



"And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid."



I still believe that we shall overcome.



This faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.



Today I come to Oslo as a trustee, inspired and with renewed dedication to humanity. I accept this prize on behalf of all men who love peace and brotherhood. I say I come as a trustee, for in the depths of my heart I am aware that this prize is much more than an honor to me personally.



Every time I take a flight I am always mindful of the many people who make a successful journey possible -- the known pilots and the unknown ground crew.

So you honor the dedicated pilots of our struggle who have sat at the controls as the freedom movement soared into orbit. You honor, once again, Chief (Albert) Luthuli of South Africa, whose struggles with and for his people, are still met with the most brutal expression of man's inhumanity to man.



You honor the ground crew without whose labor and sacrifices the jet flights to freedom could never have left the earth.



Most of these people will never make the headlines and their names will not appear in Who's Who. Yet when years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth is focused on this marvelous age in which we live -- men and women will know and children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization -- because these humble children of God were willing to suffer for righteousness' sake.



I think Alfred Nobel would know what I mean when I say that I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners -- all those to whom beauty is truth and truth beauty -- and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.


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