We just celebrated the national holiday commemorating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr, and now I am looking forward to Valentine’s Day.
That’s when I share my warm regards (and sometimes the gift of roses) with the ladies in my life. While the greeting card aisles in the stores are red with “I love you” cards and Mylar balloons, there are, in fact, other kinds of love besides the romantic. For example, there’s the love of our fellow man, love for the community we live in, and love for the earth we inhabit. Like the martyred preacher Saint Valentine and his successor Dr. King, I think romantic love as more of a feeling or emotion while community love is a love formed from action. That’s why I celebrate both Valentine’s Day and February as Black History Month each as celebrations of love.
Recently I saw an interview with the Reverend William Barber who is a civil rights activist in North Carolina. Barber has taken on the mantle of Reverend Dr. King’s activism by reviving his Poor People’s Campaign—a project King was working on when his life was tragically cut short in 1968.
After King’s assassination in April of that year a group of his followers organized a gathering of thousands of poor people and their supporters at the National Mall in Washington DC to protest the damage done to communities by poverty and income inequality.
Today Reverend Barber, who was just four years old at the time Dr. King’s death, has stepped up to lead a new movement that he calls “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival” in honor of King’s original plan. Out of a love for his fellow man, Barber is taking action to bring attention to the needs of those who suffer under poverty and discrimination in our society today.
Since our work here at Wayne Township is with all the members of our community who struggle with poverty, I can relate to Reverend Barber’s call to action, and I am proud to be in the business of fighting poverty and injustice that I see right here in my own backyard.
I feel that what motivated Dr. King and what drives Reverend Barber is a deep and true love of others, and I know that I feel that way too. When I look at the work we do and see that we are helping others and sometimes even bringing a smile to their face, it makes it worth all of the effort I and my staff put into our jobs each day.
So let me wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day filled with love of every kind.
Latest posts by Richard A. Stevenson - Wayne Township Trustee (see all)
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