A Day of Distinguished Men

The resemblance is uncanny, no?

 

Today I celebrate three distinct men: Martin Luther King Jr., King George VI of England, and my father – the first for obvious reasons, but allow me to explain the other two. I saw The King’s Speech today, which was spectacular. Colin Firth is an amazing actor, as is Geoffrey Rush. It takes an immense level of vocal control to convincingly play a man with a stutter. One of my favorite scenes is near the end when he’s trying to prepare for his first war-time speech, and keeps throwing in curse words because it helps him not to pause. I’m really holding out for Obama to follow suit for his upcoming State of the Union address.

As for my father, it’s his name’s day – the day his patron saint, St. Anthony, is commemorated. He’s the one that lived out in the desert, and then was tempted by the devil. Well, “tempted” is the word you hear most people use. I prefer “scared to the point of torture;” potato, potato. (Huh, that example is far less effective when written.) I just don’t think that having the devil appear as multiple ferocious beasts ranks up there as temptation. I’d sooner crap my pants than feel tempted to do anything. Of course, the real temptation is that he would decide to give up a life of monasticism in the wilderness; I get that. Just saying, maybe there would be other, more enticing ways to do that.

But what do these three men have in common? It goes without saying that they were upstanding African Americans, all coincidentally with elocution issues. Each of them had dreams, to be sure – however tormented those dreams might be if said person were a hermit. But what each of them most definitely has in common is a perseverance that knows no end. Well, in the case of one it ended in assassination, and the other death in the wilderness. Not sure how George VI died, but I’m sure it was equally as committed to his core beliefs. So here’s to believing in something and one day being recognized on the same day as two other awesome dudes. May we all have half as much faith and twice as much chutzpah.

 

Ciao Bella!

Matteo Yazge

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