Neglected Ideals on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

This easy-to-miss sign marks one end of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade in San Diego. A similar sign marks the other end. Most seem to rush by without noticing.

The MLK Promenade in San Diego Is the Path of Inspiration

Visiting the major tourist spots in San Diego costs money, sometimes hundreds of dollars for a family. Yet right across from the San Diego Convention Center, lining a walkway next to the trolley tracks, is the most inspirational area attraction. Cost is zero. For the serious walker, it taps into another dimension, the internal vision of our best selves.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade stretches for a 30 minute easy stroll from the entrance to the Gaslamp Quarter to a small park across from Seaport Village. Dozens of plaques with MLK quotes line both sides of the path.

If you stop and read every quotation, you may find yourself roused, uplifted, and ready to keep struggling for what you believe in. My daughter Angela and I found that emotional charge today, in honor of MLK Day tomorrow.

His galvanizing quotes transform the English language into an instrument of change. Dr. King repeatedly centers on themes of nonviolence, justice, equality, tenacity, and a visionary future to be accomplished by courageous struggle. What would he have thought of the tensions ripping the nation today? Imagine his sadness over the shootings in Tucson.

As we absorbed Dr. King’s energy on the Promenade, Angela and I were disturbed at the neglect of what should be a must-see for all San Diego visitors and residents. Many of the plaques were covered with oily dirt, and several were cracked. This damage became a visible symbol for us of the neglect of Dr. King’s teachings. Let’s rejuvenate the Promenade and make sure everyone in San Diego knows it’s there. And let’s bring Dr. King’s ideals back to the tenor of our political life.

Whatever your cause, the important thing is to have a cause. Whether you are working to help other people, sustain the planet, or end the suffering of billions of animals through a plant-based diet, Dr. King’s legacy has words to keep you energized. His most basic message is never to give up. He embodies the lesson that struggling for an ideal is the surest path to a meaningful life.

Those who work for social causes, animal rights, and the environment are often called extremists. MLK's words make us rethink this.

MLK with a vision of what ought to be, and the tenacity to settle for no less

How hard are you willing to work for what you believe in?

Having a cause, an ideal, infuses life with meaning.

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Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet, the smart person’s nutrition book built on sustainable food choices. Enjoy six kinds of whole foods for permanent, hunger-free weight loss and health.

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One Response to “Neglected Ideals on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day”

  1. Angela says:

    What an inspirational day! MLK had it right on so many issues. I am happy to have this motivation in my heart to keep going strong.