Photo courtesy of dunechaser. Licensed under the Creative Commons.

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I wrote nothing in here about it. From that, you could infer that this factoid is meaningless to me. That inference would be wrong, despite my being born four years (and change) after his death.

I could go on and on about how the world is a much better place for his having been here, and how much poorer we are since his passing, but that would be just repeating the words of others. There’s not much I could say that would add value to the conversation.

Leaders like Dr. King are a rarity. Using only the power of rhetoric, they can make you sit up and take notice of a situation that’s wrong, despite hundreds of years as a practice. They can create change by the force of those words and their willpower. And they can make the world a better place, simply by manipulating the language that binds all of us together and forming it into a mirror that forces us to see ourselves and the world around us not only as we are, but as we should be.

And as a writer, that’s something that inspires the hell out of me.