Life and Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.–A Gentler, Kinder Society
by The Rev. Al Miles, PHM Chaplain serving at Queen’s Medical Center

In late October last year, Alex Trebek, the beloved longtime host of the popular T.V. game show, Jeopardy, taped one of his final episodes. He offered a plea to his substantial fan base on behalf of people suffering from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re trying to build a gentler, kinder society and, if we all pitch in just a little, we’re going to get there.”

Six decades earlier, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also offered a plea for a gentler, kinder society. In the midst of the bigotry that filled the hearts of many towards black and brown people at that time, he encouraged everyone to love. “The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued that self-defeating path of hate. Love is the key to the solution of the problems of the world.”

A gentler and kinder society is within our reach. However, it can only be achieved when we make the conscious decision to let love guide our lives. We can begin with making a concerted effort to condemn all acts of hatred and violence, both on a national and an individual scale. Destructive behavior and the ongoing problems we face due to our own discriminatory, prejudicial, and bigoted mindsets will never benefit or enlighten humankind.

Neither Dr. King nor Mr. Trebek lived long enough to realize their utopian ideologies. On the other hand, we have the opportunity to live life in a gentler, kinder society by choosing hope, love, peace, and unity to guide our daily interactions with one another.