Love, Tolerance, and Respect on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Today honoring all activists standing up for justice and civil rights, but especially Martin Luther King, Jr.!  Wow, what an impact this one person has made, inspiring each of us to continue the fight for what's right!  

I wanted to repost this message-song-video that I did a while back named "Tolerance" as I've needed some reflection time to even better understand what I was trying to say! When I first posted it, someone questioned me on the title because 'to tolerate' means to put up with something or someone that you may not really like.  Thank you, because this made me research the definition and think.  Because really, we would love for all things to start with LOVE rather than just having to 'tolerate'.  But as we all know, this is just not reality in many cases, when people are not showing love, sometimes we must move forward with justice and civility, attaining this through peaceful demonstration, and hope that mutual love will eventually show itself.  But it may not, and it is certainly not the role of our government to control who we must love; however, it is the role of our government to enforce equal rights for all of us.  
I remember being in Mrs. Clark’s class in 4th Grade when we were studying about slavery.  I stood up to put my arm next to the boy’s arm in front of me.  Although he would be classified as ‘white’, his skin was darker/redder than my own and I thought, well even here in this classroom we all look so different.  As a child, after learning in school about these injustices, I remember wondering where was the line that people were drawing to be prejudice? Exactly what shade did you have to be in order to receive the effects of racism and why?  And what if, one day, somebody decided that I was the wrong shade of skin? Something totally beyond my control!  My hair was dark, what if that was a problem to somebody along the way?! It sounds silly perhaps, but this has all happened time and time again, people discriminated against by the way they look, where they were born, their ancestors, etc.  And who knows at what point that it may be my own ‘look’ that is on the wrong side of history.  
When people are different from us-whether in physical appearance, race, religion, culture, language- and we may find that love does not come naturally, perhaps it is the TOLERANCE and RESPECT that must at least come first.  Open minds and hearts are so difficult when we are comfortable in our own ways, maybe fearful of change, and I honestly find it very challenging to understand people sometimes- even from small town to big city in America can create a great cultural divide- and I have lived these experiences first-hand! Maybe it's a self-defense mechanism, or maybe it is pure hate for some people, but I do think we sometimes have to force ourselves to be tolerant and respectful, hopefully planting the seeds of love in each other’s hearts.  So, all I'm trying to say is, go for love first, if it's not coming easy, try tolerance and respect, I bet love will soon follow.