What is the measure of a person?

lives end silent Martin Luther King Jr


Throughout history humankind’s common struggle has been that fork in the road we all are called to choose – to have courage to speak out against the injustices they see or stay quiet, to go along with the majority and conform, to not risk being bold – to stand for truth in a world filled with many shades of grey.

Lately I have been thinking about what the measure of a person is. I keep coming back to this one key word – true. Do we show who we truly are in that moment of decision, where really standing for it has a personal cost?

These are easy words to write, but much more difficult to live.

Looking at my calendar I noticed that January 18th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here is a man though imperfect, though flawed as we all are, dared to stand for the truth he believed. He called people to acts of civil disobedience without violence against those who wanted the status quo to remain of division – of inequality. He said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” He spoke the language of love in a world filled with far too much hate.

This quote from Martin Luther King Jr. stands out from all the rest. It is a call to a life of courage in the face of opposition.

“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you want to live longer …. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized, or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that someone will stab you, or shoot at you and bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.

Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”

What truth will you decide to live? If Martin Luther King Jr. was alive today what truth would I say I  live? I hope it would be that when I saw injustice and inequality, I stood up and let my voice be counted. When I saw people living in poverty, I did what I could to alleviate it. When I saw any person being judged by the colour of their skin, I said that is wrong.

When I was five my grandfather gave me this advice. “Kevin, always stand up for what you believe in. Be a man of  your word.” Soon after that, my grandfather died of a heart attack.

My grandfather lied about his age to become an infantry soldier at age 17. He was a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, which is the forerunner of the Canadian Armed Forces. When I would go to visit him, I would hear him cough. With every cough I cried in my heart for his suffering. He had been exposed to mustard gas. My grandfather taught me to stand up for truth. That is why he and his soldier buddies fought for the freedoms we enjoy.

Thank you,grandpa, and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for being men of truth and courage. You are real men by every measure.

Karen Osborne B.A. Christian Clinical Counseling St. James the Elder Theological Seminary, graduate divinity student at Trinity College University of Toronto. D.Sc. in Psychology, St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. Kevin Osborne, B. Th. Canada Christian College & Graduate School. B.A., M.A. Christian Clinical Counseling, M.A-Th.D. Applied Theology student majoring in Psychology St. James University, D.D., D.Sc. Christian Clinical Counseling, Diplomate in Traumatology American Board of Traumatology Examiners of St. James the Elder Theological Seminary, Diplomate in Creative Ministry St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. Kevin Osborne is a member of The Word Guild, which is a Christian writer’s group. Please go tohttps://thewordguild.com for further information.



About Dr. Kevin Osborne B.A., B.Th., M.A., M.Div., Psy.D. Ph.D. and Th.D. Candidate

I enjoy spending time with people just having a coffee or talking about life, philosophy, religion, politics or sharing a favorite joke or story. We learn from one another as we interact and share our joys, challenges and even our times of sadness. I enjoy reading, writing, singing and sharing in the blessing of community whether that is one on one or in groups. I'm married and am powned by two kitties named Sir William of Lounge a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot and Princess Catherine of Chaos a.k.a. Her Royal Highness Catherine of Englehart. Two years ago I completed my Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) through St. James the Elder University. On Sept. 26th 2020, I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Canadian Christian Theological Seminary. These journeys were started over 20 years ago. In 1997 I received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Canada Christian College & Graduate School. Between working and studying it took 13 years to finish it. Let us pray for and reach out to each other with kindness, love and an embracing compassion. We can working together be servants with two open hands to those in need so that hate, indifference and inequality would lose and love will win. The peace and abounding joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Posted on January 17, 2016, in Rethinking. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Share your thoughts on this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: