President Holland lectured about civic charity and the role that it played in the philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life on Wednesday, Jan. 12.
Holland’s lecture kicked off the events of the 17th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration, “Re-Imagining the Dream.” He expressed the importance of following King’s example to create a better life for us today.
He began his lecture by quoting Jimmy Carter, saying, “Martin Luther King Jr. was the conscience of his generation. He gazed upon the great wall of segregation and saw that the power of love could bring it down. From the pain and exhaustion of his fight to fulfill the promises of our Founding Fathers for our humblest citizens, he wrung his eloquent statement of his dream for America. He made our nation stronger because he made it better. His dream sustains us yet.”
Holland pointed out that King had charity for all men. Although King’s rights were limited, he had a love for the country, government and Founding Fathers who limited his rights. Because of this charity, his words were given power and still inspire us today.
King preached and showed the importance of civic charity to remain peaceful, even when the most violent acts were committed against him.
“Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force,” said King in his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Cameron Asbury, an audience member, expressed his motivation inspired by the examples and attitudes of King’s and Holland’s speeches.
“I like that he tried to get people motivated to do the right thing,” Asbury said. “To get us to do something. If we want something done, we have to do it.”
At the end of the lecture, a video was played consisting of photos of MLK and others during the early civil rights movement accompanied by the U2 song “Pride,” the lyrics of which were inspired by MLK and his life.
The last verse of the song demonstrates the strength that MLK had, a strength that can never be taken.
“Early morning, April 4 Shot rings out in the Memphis sky Free at last, they took your life They could not take your pride.”