One of the things that always astonishes me is the disconnect people have with historical figures. In the united states we have 6 major historical figures that are celebrated with holidays. They are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln who are both celebrated with Presidents day. We have Dr. Martin Luther King day, Columbus day which celebrates Christopher Columbus who discovered the United states. We have Cesar Chavez the great farm labor organizer and of course Christmas which celebrates the birth of Christ. Despite the fact that we acknowledge all of these days and use them for an extra day off of work or in the case of Christmas it has become a way to bring our families together and bond with them as a whole we are largely disconnected from the people these holidays are designed to celebrate. Presidents day is a great excuse to have an extended weekend or sell cars. Dr Kings birthday has become an extra day off of work. Nobody gives a fuck about Columbus or in many cases they actually have great disdain for him and refuse to celebrate him. A small percentage of people connect with Chavez. To be clear, yes, I give a fuck, I do care about Dr King, I do connect with the impact he had on civil rights. I connect with his bravery, I connect because of his oratory skills, his spirituality and of course because of how greatly things are changing in the nearly 60 years since he began his movement.
I realize that I am coming from an American point of view and I have readers who are in other parts of the world such as Europe and India and Africa. I would like to know which leaders are celebrated in other parts of the world. What are the days on the calendar so to speak that are earmarked for leaders or historical figures such as Christmas day which celebrates Christ. I would also like to hear your opinions about whether you feel your citizens connect with the individual. How about Margaret Thatcher in the UK? Do people mention her and connect with her. Is there a day named after her? Or in India I am curious if Mahatma Ghandi has a day named after him. In conversation do people mention his name often and speak of his deeds? Of his hunger strike? Do they at least quote him often.
I make it a point from time to time to honor different historical figures in my blog. If you look up my past blogs you will finds that I have done a blog solely devoted to Dr King and one devoted to Ghandi and I have done Buddha quotes as well. I make it a point to educate people on historical figures, but more importantly to honor them, regardless if they are from my country or not, regardless of how recently they may have lived, regardless of whether or not we have the same skin color. Greatness is greatness, bravery is bravery and that is why today we need to think of and honor Dr Martin Luther King. Hopefully not just in the United states but across the world. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the subject.