What Military Spouses Can Learn From Martin Luther King Jr.
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Every year at this time, I try to put myself in the shoes of someone living in the time period that he did. I can’t quite wrap my mind around it. I can’t wrap my mind around different bathrooms or different seats on a bus. My mind can’t totally understand how this was how life was for people in the 1960s.
On the other hand, there are some serious issues going on right now in our own time period, from online bullying to out and out racism. When I see these things going on, I start to understand more of the time that Dr. King was a Civil Rights leader and why he had to do what he did.
When I watch the videos of Martin Luther King, Jr. and hear the words he said, I am thankful that he stood up for what he believed in. He knew what freedom meant and he knew not everyone was being treated equally. He changed history for the better and he will always be remembered.
As we think of Martin Luther King Jr. today, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of his quotes and see how we, as military spouses can apply them to our own lives. How we can be better people, based on things he has said.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
When we start a new deployment or PCS to a new location, we have to have faith that we can get through it. We have to have faith that we will make things work for ourselves. Even if we can’t see how we will actually do so.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Sometimes we are crawling through this life and other days we are flying. The point is, keep moving forward, no matter how fast or slow you are going. One day at a time.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”
Hate can tear communities apart. Love brings them together. Even if you don’t get along with someone, even if they are not your cup of tea, hate is never going to make things better. As a military spouse community, we need to be bringing each other up, not tearing one another down.
“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Such a great reminder that you don’t have to have x, y, and z to help other people. This can apply to so many things, from volunteering for the FRG to being a supportive spouse while your loved one is away.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”
Being able to forgive will help you go far in the military world. From your neighbors to your coworkers, to the other spouses you meet along the way. Not everyone will act the way we hope they would and being able to forgive will help you have a better experience.
“We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.”
This is so true for everyone but in the military world, disappointment can happen on a regular basis. The key is making lemonade out of the situation and not losing hope.
“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”
Whatever your dreams are, whatever you have planned, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Push through, make it work, and get creative.
As we think about Martin Luther King Jr. today, as we think about what he set forth to do, all that he accomplished, and what he hoped for, we can learn a lot about ourselves. We often say, if we were around during those years, we would have been on the side of justice. But the truth is, we can still be on the side of justice today. We can be kind to those we meet, we can stick up for one another, and through that, our own communities will become a better place.