Friday, January 9, 2009

Change is Struggle: Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent."~Martin Luther King, Jr.

What if people run up behind you and jump on your back? How does that fit in? Sometimes, if I hear running footsteps behind me, my automatic, self-preservation mode is to curl up - thus bending my back, leaving it vulnerable then they can jump on it. So, partially my fault for bending, but a natural reaction. I definitely feel the struggle as I work to change my reactions.

I am struggling with the personal journey I am on versus the work I do in the world. My work is not who I am, but I strongly identify with it and it consumes most of my waking (and some sleeping) hours. I'm not sure they will ever co-exist without conflict.

I know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was talking about profound change, but I think it is true that even small changes are struggles. Some of the strongest chains are the ones we applied to ourselves long ago. Redefining ourselves, re-evaluating what we believe, redesigning our lives is a long process whether it is to look at our own internal "isms" or if it is trying to become the person we were meant to be in the world. That ripple, whether miraculous or ridiculous, still moves out from us and affects others and possibly the world.

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