Peaceful Warrior

A recent article I read said that… Martin Luther King Jr. was a Peaceful Warrior, in the midst of everything to read, this really resonated with me. It made me stop and think. How many Special Olympics Louisiana athletes are Peaceful Warriors? How many volunteers, coaches, families, staff, etc. fight every day to advocate for and show people the remarkable abilities of those with intellectual disabilities? I continued reading and read “Dr. King stood up for people who could not stand up for themselves and that is probably the truest definition of a real hero.” That is exactly what Special Olympics does every day! I was in shock when I discovered that Martin Luther King Jr. was only 39 years old when he was assassinated. How much did he accomplish and how many lives did he touch in less than 40 years? Now I am not one that gets into the conspiracy theories and rumor mills, but the basic principles I believe Dr. King was trying to convey is what I thought about.  I knew the basics about Dr. King but began to learn so much more. His words not only talk about race and ethnicity but the basics of all human rights. He said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…” and “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and controversy.” While the world has tried to rectify the misperception of several minorities, those with intellectual disabilitJFK and MLKies are silent and often overlooked.  A champion of our cause, President Kennedy, invited Martin Luther King to the White House to talk about civil rights on numerous occasions.

I wonder if back then they knew the tremendous impact Kennedy’s sister, Eunice, would have on the world when those with intellectual disabilities had come up in conversation about civil rights and equality. “I have a dream, that my four little children, will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” This weekend, as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, let us reflect and become Peaceful Warriors of our own focusing on all people’s character.

Written by a Special Olympics Louisiana staff member