Monday, January 21, 2008

A Man and a Woman

Today is the observance of the birth anniversary of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968). It is a federal holiday, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and first observed in 1986 (though it was not until 2000 that all 50 states observed the holiday). I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, a very diverse community, and commemoration of King's work and legacy were a regular part of the curriculum every January. When I was in high school, I attended the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation, typically on the last Friday of classes preceding the holiday. The event usually involved various performance ensembles (the gospel choir and jazz ensemble, as I remember), and then the winner of the MLK Oratorical Competition would read his or her winning essay. The speech was usually a call to remember that King's work was not yet finished.

When I got to Wheaton College, which, needless to say, is quite a different environment than Oak Park and River Forest High School, I was curious to see what official events the school sponsored for MLK Day. I was pleased to find that a chapel session had been reserved for the occasion; this past Friday's chapel was titled "The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembered." Tonight, the College is hosting the DuPage County MLK Day ceremony, with a performance by our own gospel choir.

All that is well and good, but I think, in reality, my generation, as a whole, can do more than quote King saying, "I have a dream." That's a bit of an exaggeration, of course; I am sure that most people my age know who King was and for what he's famous. But the Associated Press reports that scholars believe the breadth of King's story is largely ignored. For example, the article I read (both on and WORLD Magazine's website) state that King's activism also included issues such as poverty and war. Additionally, people today forget that King was not popular at the time he made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech - quite the opposite.

Sadly, though, that is the fate of many historical figures. As the article states, many are simply "frozen in time" at an iconic moment, and the depth of their work and their lives forgotten. Fortunately, King is not likely to cease to be a well-known historical figure, so there is hope that that depth will eventually become general knowledge.

To change the subject completely, I am no longer a single man.

I first met my girlfriend, Naomi Attaway, well, actually, I can't remember an exact date. She is a fellow first-year music major here at Wheaton College. We saw a lot of each other through the fall semester, first by virtue of having five classes together, and then we started spending time together outside of classes, in social contexts. Eventually, there came a point when we were definitely acquaintances, and then a point when we were definitely friends, though both of those points are rather ambiguous. Last night, I asked her to be my girlfriend, and she said yes.

Pardon me for stating the obvious, but I am really excited about this relationship, and really thankful that God has given me (us) the opportunity to have this relationship.

This is Rubio, over and out.

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