In all my training as an educator, writer and minister, I have been taught to use comparisons, metaphor, simile and analogy to help people to see the similarities between things, people or situations. A recent comparison of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. left me speechless. I sat trying to figure out why the person responsible would even imagine that his comparison would hold water.
Rev. King was an activist, community leader, minister, peacemaker, ally, champion of those who were ignored by the rich and powerful. His words inspired a nation to open their hearts and minds to do what was right. His actions were of a man of the people, not just the rich and famous, but the elderly, the children, the poor.
If I was going to compare anyone to Rev. King, I would choose someone like Omaha elder and veteran, Nathan Phillips, who stood in the face of hate and continued to drum and sing in protest. Or, I would pick the men and women of Team Rubicon*, who leave their families to travel around the world to help those in need - those who, in some cases, have been left to flounder after natural disasters by a government too busy playing games to care.
*Team Rubicon is "international non-government organization founded by U.S. Marines William McNulty and Jacob "Jake" Wood. Team Rubicon identifies itself as a veteran service organization that uses disaster response to help reintegrate veterans back into civilian life." (Wikipedia)
Rev. King believed mightily in service. The service he gave had no boundaries, no walls, no distinctions between one group or another. The service he gave was for all.
Therefore, I implore those in politics who may feel the need to make comparisons, please do not disparage great people of this nation by comparing them to those for which service is simply a word used to procure the next meal or have their limo at curbside or their golf clubs handed to them. THINK before you speak!
To all those who serve this country and the world, I give hearty thanks for all you do. May you be blessed beyond measure and may you know how much your service means to others. As the Reverend King said, “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”