Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Today, as I watched the news – a reporter was interviewing a teenage girl about the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what he meant to her-  I was lucky enough to hear her answer, which said that  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man who understood the importance of improving himself and  that the color of the skin did not have anything to do with a person’s character.

The pages of our history books are filled with men and women whose actions have impacted the course of our nation.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of these figures.  Forty-Two years after his death, Americans, regardless of race, are still benefiting from the effects of his passionate campaign.

As we remember his life today, there are several valuable lessons we can learn.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the importance of improving himself.  He was an excellent student, graduating from high school and entering Morehouse College at the age of 15 where he received his Bachelor’s Degree.  He continued his studies at Crozer Theological Seminary, graduating with honors.  Finally, he earned a doctoral degree in systematic theology from Boston University.  Ironically, some of his worst marks at Crozer were 2 courses on public speaking.  Those professors must feel a little like the junior varsity basketball coach that cut Michael Jordan from the school team.  Leaders use setbacks to motivate themselves to improve.  There is always room for improvement.  We need to follow his example and look for ways to better ourselves.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an involved citizen.  He found a cause and became an advocate for that cause.  He saw the injustice of racism in the South and looked for ways to make changes.  He got others involved, using both white and black sympathizers in the North to help fan the fires of change.  He knew the risks, yet stayed true to his convictions.  Today, there is still a desperate need for doers.  We need public servants and people to look around and see things that need to change, and then make a commitment to change them.

Finally, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an eternal optimist.   In 1963, while sitting in a Birmingham jail cell, he penned these powerful words of hope:  ” Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brother hood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

Later that year, he organized a peaceful protest in Washington, D.C. for jobs and civil rights.  That is when he delivered his well-known and moving speeches in American history:

” I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’  … I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  Exactly what the young teenager spoke this morning.

Because of this dream, America is a better place today.  There is still more progress to be made.

I can think of no better memorial than to carry forward his message of unity, and love for our fellow man to our children.

Thank you and God Bless America,

Sandy Murman

County Commissioner, District 1


Happy Holidays from the Murman Family

A young girl attended a holiday violin recital. She was so captivated by the beauty of the music and powerful presence of the violinist she absolutely had to meet him after the performance.

She waited patiently in line to greet him, and when it was her turn, she said hello and asked if he would please autograph her program.

“I’m sorry,” said the violinist, “but my hands are too tired from playing.”

“Well,” said the girl, “my hands are tired, too, from all the clapping.”  The violinist beamed and with a flourish, autographed the program.

I sing the praises of professionals, business leaders and community volunteers, parents and grandparents.  You are the violinists for children, families and our elders every day throughout our vibrant and diverse communities. We who care for our own families and the loved ones of others master the notes, touch the strings, and move the bow creating beautiful music.  And sometimes we get tired.

I am your admirer, honoring your commitment and applauding your efforts. Together, in partnership, we are making progress.  Let’s never forget that we are needed; let’s not lose hope nor allow one day’s fatigue to dampen our spirit.

The challenges are great, but our optimism and strength of commitment will persevere!

My special wishes for the holidays go to our military and their families, our first responder law enforcement, EMT and fire-fighting professionals, health care-givers, educators and providers of other vital human services whose dedication seldom takes a holiday.  They are there for us and stand ready to serve in good times and bad.  Saying thank you to these people is one way of giving them the emotional boost they need to keep up their good work for us all.

Warm Wishes for a beautiful Holiday Season,

Jim & Sandy,  Michele & Michael  (newly engaged)  and Rocky too!


20 ITEM Holiday Gift Guide

Here’s a 20-item emotional gift guide which I hope will be meaningful for you in this season of celebration. Please share it with family, friends and colleagues:

– To yourself….respect, confidence and faith.

– To a friend….a heartfelt and caring spirit.

– To a family member….dedication, communication and understanding.

– To our natural world….protection and preservation.

– To a good cause….generosity and ardent advocacy.

– To a traveler….an open door of hospitality.

– To our military and first responders….honor and appreciation.

– To a customer or client….excellent service.

– To the ill and hurting….concern and healing comfort.

– To the hungry and homeless….compassion and emergency services.

– To the abused, neglected and abandoned….hope and security.

– To someone with a special challenge….recognition and acceptance.

– To the addicted and troubled….a positive path to recovery.

– To an infant and toddler….attachment, attention and safety.

– To a child and teen….patience, guidance and a good example.

– To a parent in need….a helping hand.

– To an elder, reverence….gratitude and dignified care.

– To everyone you see, friends and strangers alike….a smile and positive energy.

– To people of every age….unconditional love.

– To all the peoples of the world….justice and peace.

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