Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day is a good day to reminisce about the words of wisdom from the man known as a civil rights leader. But remember, what he said really transcended civil rights. Here are ten quotes from MLK that are relevant to your health:
1. “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
Health is what allows you to do, to accomplish, to socialize, to play, to work, to express, to Tweet, to twerk…
2. “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
You really find out your true friends when things aren’t going your way. Social support is important to physical, emotional, and psychological health. So choose your friends wisely…
3. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Everything in the world is interconnected. For example, obesity anywhere leads to lower productivity and increased health care cost which also affects your business, the workplace, health insurance cost and overall premiums and your health. So, if a part of the population does not have access to healthy food and opportunity to exercise, you eventually will be affected. A healthy society benefits everyone.
4. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
You frequently don’t see the potential health impact of your choices until down the road when things are too late to change. Investing in healthy habits and preventive measures requires faith and optimism that they will pay off in the future.
5. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
Many health problems arise from what we do to each other…or don’t do for each other.
6. “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Know about your health and what may be affecting your health…before it’s too late.
7. “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.”
Violence (whether it’s road rage or physical abuse) in the long run is never good for anyone’s health…whether you are the perpetrator or the victim.
8. “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
You are much more than your appearance, regardless of what others may say.
9. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Staying optimistic helps. Dealing with health issues whether it is as an individual or as a population requires stamina and powering through obstacles.
10. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
Some of the most miserable and unhealthy people that I have met are some of the wealthiest…monetarily, that is. Want to improve your physical, emotional, and psychological health? Try helping others. Be a source and a solution, not a perpetrator to the problem. We have a society full of that today and need more that will stand in leadership as many did in the era of Dr. King.
So, on a day that we honor MLK’s substantial contributions to not only civil rights but also society in general, remember that his words go beyond today and ring true throughout the other 364 days of each year.