What can one accomplish in 39 years?

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was 39 years old. Dr. King was a tremendous person, and like all people, imperfect. In just 39 years he was a pastor and leader of his flock in congregations in Montgomery and Atlanta. He received advanced degrees and built a family.

In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles (from here).

His words, both in written and aural format inspired our nation to reconsider laws, social norms, and institutional biases that were unfair, unjust, and morally wrong. And yet, we as a nation have so much work to do.

Dr. King’s life was taken violently, he was a victim of gun violence.

He did so much in 39 years.

I am feeling the weight of the notion of legacy as my 39th birthday approaches in a few months. How will I create the world that I want to live in?

If you are able to do so, I hope you will consider joining me tonight in Los Angeles at this event. It will be my honor to represent Temple Beth Hillel and the Jewish community during the program. Details here.

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About rabbisteinman

I am a rabbi living in North America. I was ordained from HUC-JIR. This is my blog.
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