Monday, January 16, 2017

Following in Dr. King's Footsteps

Following in Dr. King's Footsteps
Disclaimer: Today's post is NOT about cats. If you came here to read about cats, I promise Wednesday's post will
be all about feline feistiness. You can still enjoy some stunning images in this post.

On the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, we also honor another great man of peace. Last week, NYC lost such a man; one who lived up to the legacy of Dr. King. In the age of Black Lives Matter, it may seem strange that a ghetto kitteh such as myself has chosen to honor a white man who also happened to be a cop. That man is NYPD Detective Steven McDonald.

Detective McDonald died of a heart attack last week. Tens of thousands of officers lined the streets of Manhattan stretching more than 10 blocks turning the streets into a sea of blue. Rumor has it, usually loud and bustling midtown was silent as the long funeral procession came up Fifth Avenue toward St. Patrick's Cathedral for this hero.

I don't know if those outside of the NYC area know about this "real Superman" as his son called him in his eulogy. In 1986, he was shot while investigating a bicycle theft in Central Park. One of the three bullets pierced his spine, leaving him paralyzed. He could no longer walk or breathe on his own at the age of 29 but his voice was still strong. His wife was pregnant with their son who's now an NYPD Sergeant at the time. The young detective didn't give up.

Embodying Dr. King, instead of anger Det. McDonald chose to forgive 15-year-old Shavod Jones, the teen who shot him. He found he could not hate him. He said "… the only thing worse than a bullet in my spine would have been to nurture revenge in my heart." This is the tale of his forgiveness in his own words, which in my opinion, is worth reading.

Following in Dr. King's Footsteps

Those words bring to mind this famous quote by Dr. King which was read at his funeral mass: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can."

Detective McDonald spent his life traveling and speaking about the importance of hope and forgiveness. His travels took him to places like Northern Ireland, Israel, Croatia and Bosnia where he preached peace. He talked to lawmakers in Washington, students, prisoners and gang members always preaching forgiveness and peace. His faith and love of God got him through the hard times and played a most important role in the way he lived his life and treated people. My family isn''t particularly religious but we can appreciate a true American hero. One who didn't have room in his heart for hate much like Dr. King.

Peace, forgiveness and hope are not black or white issues or emotions. They are human issues. Dr. King's message should be carried by all as Steven McDonald has shown. Who is going to be the torchbearer now?

Following in Dr. King's Footsteps

22 comments:

  1. We heard about this. Detective McDonald was a true hero

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  2. There are so many layers to this story of forgiveness, and it lifted everyone up, including the boy who shot Detective McDonald. I'm sure if the young man had lived more than a few days after being released from prison, he would have added yet another dimension to this story.

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  3. I had never heard of Detective McDonald (I'm from the UK) so I Googled him. What a sad but uplifting story.
    That's Purrfect

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  4. I believe so strongly in the mindset of those quotes. Thank you for sharing them and Detective McDonald's story for MLK Day. Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey kitties

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  5. I can't believe I never before knew of Steven McDonald and his inspiring story. I am thankful that you spotlighted him and his wisdom, though, and on such a historic day. Our thoughts are certainly with his family at this time.

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  6. Such a great quote. Thank you for sharing the story about Detective McDonald. I had not heard it before. He sounds like a very inspiring individual. I will go look him up.

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  7. That was an outstanding post CK. We heard about the Detective over the weekend, he was something special as was Dr. King.

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  8. I admit, I haven't heard of Detective McDonald, but will definitely read his story that you linked to. Sounds like he did amazing things and used his life and experience to bring hope to the world. Truly inspiring and uplifting. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Oh CK, what a great post. Your wise words of wisdom are so very true. Love can overcome hate - if only you try. I wish we would have known that policeman. What a wonderful human being he was!

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  10. What a great post CK.....Dr. King was one of a kind - sad to say that because we REALLY wish there were many of his kind but he saw and said things that nobody has said since and inspired more people than he could ever have imagined as well. Detective McDonald was also a true hero. Turning something bad into something positively powerful takes a TALENT and a certain kind of LOVE of life - he had that as did Mr. King. I do hope someone will pick up that torch.....I truly do.

    Hugs, Pam and Angel Sam

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing this. I heard about Detective McDonald on the news....what a wonderful man. So sad. This was another of one of your finest posts! catchatwithcarenandcody

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  12. Thanks for telling us about Detective McDonals. What a true hero.

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  13. Excellent post CK. Thank you for sharing Detective McDonald's story.

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  14. CK your post is such a moving one and we appreciate every word you say. Forgiveness and peace and what we should strive for.

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  15. We watched part of that funeral online...it was very moving.

    The Florida Furkids

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  16. Excellent post. I did know about Detective McDonald. I worked for the Calgary Police Service for a number of years. When I was writing the Bias Free Policing program (in conjunction with all the services in the Province of Alberta) I did some research on him, what an impressive man. I had not heard of his passing...the world has lost an incredible humanist!
    Thanks TW.
    Nellie's Mommy

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  17. An amazing man and the type of man the world needs more of.

    Shoko and Kali's mom

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  18. Thank you for sharing this post! I did not know about detective McDonald but what an incredible man he was! People nowadays tend to resort to hatred so easily and impulsively. I hope his story, as well as Dr. King's, will inspire many.

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  19. An incredible story. So many people think that forgiveness is some gift for other people or some weakness ... but being able to forgive and still love is so much harder. I've always made the joke that my "hate" mode is broken and it wasn't until I saw Star Wars in my twenties that it finally clicked why ... hate takes you over to the dark side ... it makes you someone you don't recognize, don't like and it makes you ugly. People are quick to hate but slow to love on both the giving and receiving sides. I don't understand.

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  20. Hatred solves nothing. It never has, and never will. Those who insist on it are only destroying themselves. There is no honor, no love, and no solution to it.

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