A Visit to the MLK Historic Birthplace

On a recent morning, our company visited the Martin Luther King Center and toured the MLK birthplace here in Atlanta. As I walked through his house, I thought, people will be visiting this home for the next 500 years, just as I’d visited the final residence of Leonardo Da Vinci in Blois a few years ago. I walked through rooms where something happened to help create a great man whose impact will endure. He had a simple message of brotherhood and non-violence, and he preached it consistently. We understand the meaning of his dream. And yet, as I stood in the museum, which is just a few hundred yards from his home, right next to me another visitor made blatantly anti-semitic comments, spewing out a stream of hatred so vile it was as if garbage had been dumped on the Mona Lisa. What is it that makes simple messages of tolerance and civility so hard to understand? And if they can be forgotten in the home site of MLK, how hard will it be to spread his message in an enduring global way? So while we all have greatness in some measure within us, we have, perhaps, equal measures of intolerance. That is why this is all an unending struggle.

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