Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King Jr. On Silence

Olvlzl wrote an excellent post for this day. Read it.

When I was thinking of something to write on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday this year two topics danced tango in my head, one being the whole interesting question of why we are given holidays for certain men and not for other men and never for named human women, and the other being the little ping I got from each mention of the word "silence" in King's sayings, such as these:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

The first topic is too large to tackle with such a short notice, but I think the two are linked in something more than an Argentinian tango inside my skull. Power might be the music we are listening to, and silence is the wrong step to take in this dance. It is frightening to speak up, though, especially if you are one of the powerless. But what are the rewards of silence?