Words to live by from Lee/King

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 17, 2004

On Monday, our nation will celebrate the birthdays of two men. One worked hard to change his world through war and education. The other chose to change the world through teaching and non-violent civil disobedience.

They are Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

No two men could have come from more different backgrounds, yet somehow it seems fitting that their birthdays be celebrated together.

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Both men lost everything in their pursuit of their beliefs. All of Lee's worldly possessions were confiscated by the Union Army. Today, what once was Lee's plantation, is home to Arlington National Cemetery.

For King, the loss was greater, for he lost his life.

Both men have grown into legendary status and both have supporters who sometime may think they walked on water. However, both men understood they were mortal and both men knew to make a change, they had to take a stand.

So take a moment Monday and remember these men for their contributions. Even if you disagree, remember their beliefs spurred them to action instead of empathy. That should be a large part of their legacy, their beliefs.

So we leave you with a quote from each man and ask that you ponder them. Think about what they meant when they said it. You'll be surprised at how similar they are after all.

Gen. Lee said: "We failed, but in the good providence of God apparent failure often proves a blessing."

Rev. King said: "A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live."

Make Monday your day of action!