January 15 marks Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 87th birthday.
Although he did not speak directly to Generation-Y, many of his teachings still hold true.
Following months of scandal, political mudslinging and gospels preaching hatred, it is important to reflect on Dr. King's everlasting words as a form of enlightenment.
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
Unless you're 100 percent Native American, this land is not yours.
American roots are planted in Europe, Latin America, Africa and so on.
Although we are quick to present ourselves as Americans and immigrants as immigrants, we must put our pasts into perspective.
Our ancestors struggled to create the American Dream for not only themselves, but future generations.
As refugees from all parts of the world fight for not only a better life, but for safety, we should remember that our own ancestors were once the outcasts or refugees who created the America we live in today.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Whether it's about sexual orientation, race relations or religion, there is an argument brewing in every household.
When election season begins, and it in turn becomes a 24/7 news cycle on he-said-she-said, and this brewing pot bubbles over.
Generation-Y must learn to see through the muck and contribute to society.
Nothing ever changes if we only stand still.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Have faith in yourself and your beliefs, no matter the backlash and no matter the cost.
“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
When we lose, it's easy to fuel hate instead of peace.
Learn to let go of the past and look toward the future; it's the only way to progress.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
There's no explanation needed there.
"The time is always right to do what is right."
It is never too late to become involved in a movement.
Standing up for what we believe in runs through our veins, and makes humans, well, human.
I hope our generation never stops fighting for what is right.
Nothing in this world is immovable; no policy in this world is concrete.
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
Fighting for Civil Rights was not an easy feat.
MLK dealt with attacks on his family, his supporters and himself to convince the American people that our nation needed to provide equal rights.
Despite scare tactics and violence, MLK was able to open the eyes of Americans all across this nation and eventually, our government.
The fight for equal rights does not end there.
Today, we still face race, gender and sexual inequality, and all three fights must garner further attention.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Never stop fighting.
Never stop questioning.
Never stop moving.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Whether it's the Black Lives Matter movement, the fight for reproductive rights or protecting the men and women of the LGBTQ+ community, our society is faced with challenges and controversies.
It is important to remember that movements are not built on inconveniences, but rather true heartaches and an unfortunate struggles of real people.
Stand tall for those without a voice. Stand up for those afraid to speak out.
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
And that time is now.