Today is the Federally observed day of birth (83rd anniversary) for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There are many things to reflect upon, and ponder re: his ideas, actions, and life. This is not a post about such things, but you can read interesting thoughts here or here.
At any given time I will begin to work with a new client re: a loss of a loved one, or we will talk about the fast approaching anniversary of the passing of a family member. Grief and loss are never easy topics, and require much tip-toeing around to gather information and gauge how much someone is wanting to talk about their feelings or whether he/she just wants to sit with their feelings in a safe place. At some point, a client and I may begin processing the loss, and quite commonly people feel that they are suppose to be in active mourning or grieving the loss out of reverence and respect for those who have passed. It is then I may bring up the great Dr. King.
Whether it’s a child or an adult, almost everyone when asked, is familiar with MLK. I may ask a client to share what they know about him. Then I may ask how they came to know so much about a man who died over 40 years ago, perhaps even before they were born. Usually people give me strange looks at this point, as if I’m in disbelief that they know about MLK. We then will usually talk about the significance of knowing various things about a person we’ve never met, and what would the children of MLK must think knowing that we knew all these things about their father whom we never met. Usually the client will say that his children are probably happy knowing that their father is not forgotten, and that he continues to be a significant or important person in society today.