by David Dillard

I had the privilege of meeting Martin Luther King.

By chance, while at Dallas Love Field to pick up a relative with my family, my father spotted Dr. King as we strolled across the main lobby of the airport. Under the shadow of the big statue of The Texas Ranger, my dad stuck out his hand and introduced himself and started a conversation. Just a young boy in the mid-1960s, I did not yet understand the significance of the man, but my father did, and Dad did not want his kids to miss that opportunity.

I had seen him on television. I knew there were people who liked him and many who did not, but I was struck by how polite and gracious he was. He even remembered meeting my grandfather from a meeting of pastors in Atlanta a few weeks earlier. He exuded kindness and generosity and graciously gave me what has become one of my most treasured keeps sakes, the autograph of Martin Luther King. I left that day thinking of him as my friend, Dr. King.

I later came to fully appreciate the ideals for which he stood, the positive change that he initiated, and the true legacy of the man. My friend Dr. King continues to inspire all of humankind to be positive, non-violent change agents in life. His life demonstrated that one person can make a difference.

David Dillard is the president of KD College Prep. Learn more about him here.