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Death

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (Image via Wikipedia)

“Every now and then”, he told the congregation, “I think about my death.” His words brought a low murmur of surprise from the parishioners.

“I don’t think of it in a morbid sense,” he qualified, smiling faintly. “I ask myself what I would want said. If any of you are around when I have to meet my day… I don’t want a long funeral. And tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize. Tell them not to mention where I went to school. None of that is important. I’d like somebody to mention that day that …Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life to serving others… I’d like for somebody to mention that day that … Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody…

I want you to say that day that … I tried to be right on the war question… I want you to be able to say that day that … I did try to feed the hungry… I want you to be able to say that day that … I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked …

I want you to say on that day that … I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison …

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice! Say that I was a drum major for peace! And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.

That’s all I want to say. If I can help somebody as I pass along … if I can cheer somebody with a word or song … if I can show somebody that he’s travelling wrong … then my living will not be in vain.

If I can do my duty as a Christian ought … if I can spread the message as the Master taught … then my living will not be in vain.”

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