Like everyone who lives life as a response to grace, Martin Luther King, Jr. progressed in his understanding of his vocation: at first, he was a preacher -- like his father before him... Then circumstances propelled him into the pursuit of civil rights: braving the firestorm of opposition that he and his fellow "uppity" blacks engendered, he linked civil rights with the moral vision of nonviolence...
This linkage of nonviolence with the pursuit of civil rights eventually compelled his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War and to the arms race... his "uppitiness" was growing... Then, that same ability to make connections, struck again: the war-making machine was intimately connected to the oppression of American blacks as it was to all the oppressed peoples of the world: witness the recent revelation of the "green light" from Henry Kissinger for the brutal oppression that was to take place in Argentina: but King kept probing deeper and faster than most of his contemporaries: he realized that social injustice and violence both are supported and sustained by economic exploitation and injustice...
Martin was planning a "Poor People's March on Washington" when he was assassinated: so much for his "uppitiness"... and yet, and yet... people are still following the path that he charted: civil rights, violence, and economic injustice are still the core causes that require a "rEvolutionary" response! It is shocking that 85 of the richest people on the Planet possess as much wealth as the "bottom" 3.5 billion! It is shocking that the richest 1% of the world's population own 110 trillion dollars or 65 times that of the "bottom" 50%! Of course, they also control the militaries and police and media of the world... as they control the land, water, and seed... All of this -- and this day -- begs the question: What kind of world do we want?
It seems there may be a spokesperson in Pope Francis to remind the powerful and greedy that their wealth and power makes them responsible for the well-being of every fellow human being: every government and social institution exists for the purpose of facilitating and developing the well-being of every person on the Planet: not for the acquisition of endless wealth and power! The proper use of both power and wealth is service and liberation! Hoarding, exploitation, and oppression are not the proper use of either wealth or power! Those with both are called upon to surrender their use to the common good! How much is enough? Can there ever be enough of love, or kindness, or of justice, or of compassion? These qualities are worth cultivating endlessly: wealth and power, on the other hand, are meant to be the means for creating a Paradise upon this precious blue Planet: for everyone to share in and for everyone's utter delight!
Finally, what is your place in the building rEvolution? How are you beginning to pray, to think, to engage, to organize, and to transform? Now is the time to practice a whole-lot of "uppitiness": there is no other way of celebrating the life and memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.