Yesterday we celebrated the life of the great Martin Luther King. Dr. King was a Baptist minister, humanitarian, and he was best known as a great civil rights leader. Perhaps one of his greatest honors was receiving a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racism in a non-violent fashion.
Most of us are familiar with King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, given during the March on Washington in the summer of 1963. But it was his humble beginnings as a Baptist preacher which provided him time to reflect and to write the foundations of many of his guiding principles on humanitarianism. One of Bud Pierce’s favorite King quotes is on the topic of forgiveness:
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He (she) who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power of love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
Oregon is a beautiful and desirable place to live, in large part due to the hard work of our citizens and our diversity. We blend good stewardship with creativity to leverage the type of prosperity that attracts people from other states and throughout the world. To achieve our full potential, we must work together. We must pool our talents and set aside our differences long enough to reach out to one another in love and understanding. We need to build a state where harmony, peace, and tranquility grow as naturally as our trees, wheat, and wildlife.
Dr. Pierce also appreciates another King quote on achieving understanding in challenging times: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” King was a genuine leader.