Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a boy... A creative, compassionate and courageous boy. When I look out upon the sea of our students, I see the next leader of a just society. When I think of Dr. King, I think of our young men. I see Dr. King as a boy.
Dr. King embodied the Sacred Heart Goals from an early age. He possessed a deep and active faith in God, developed through a love of listening to his father Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. preach in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Dr. King’s deep faith would lead him to become a revered spiritual leader and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). I see Dr. King as a boy.
Dr. King developed a deep respect for intellectual values. Extraordinarily intelligent, curious and perspicacious, Dr. King skipped his first and last years of high school and at the age of 15 went on to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta. Here he was inspired by the writings of Henry David Thoreau on Civil Disobedience which would later be a primary influence on the Civil Rights Movement. I see Dr. King as a boy.
Dr. King was filled with a social awareness that impelled him to action. A victim of prejudice growing up in a system of segregation at an early age, Dr. King began to form his belief that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and thus devoted his life to building a just society. I see Dr. King as a boy.
Dr. King believed deeply in the building of community as a Christian value. He sought to bring people of all races and creeds together, united in God’s love, harmonious in peace. Dr. King always had an aversion to violence. He was struck and hurt but did not strike or hurt back. He felt anger and sadness, but he channeled that to a spirit of compassion and cooperation. I see Dr. King as a boy.
Dr. King grew through real-life experiences in an atmosphere of wise freedom to be the man whose legacy we now honor and revere. He made the same childhood mistakes that you and I did, that our young men do, and he learned from those mistakes and transferred his understanding of others into his vision for humanity. Like many little boys, Dr. King wanted to be a fireman when he grew up, then a doctor, then a lawyer, then a minister. I see Dr. King as a boy.
Dr. King is a boy attending Princeton Academy right now; a child whose life experiences, combined with a core set of values and a sense of purpose, will change our world. Dr. King had a dream. Our boys have dreams, too. Every MLK Day, I watch, listen to and discuss Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech with my children. I encourage you to do the same. As they develop and mature, their understanding and their takeaways grow, too.
In the words of artist James Taylor, “we are bound together / with a desire to see the world become / a place in which our children can grow free and strong…” I know that our young men will Shed A Little Light and enable our world to realize the dream of Dr. King, and their dreams, as well. I see Dr. King as a boy... And he is here at Princeton Academy. God bless him.
- Sacred Heart Goals