One year ago today, I took my old boss (and good friend) up on challenge. And today, that challenge has become a new tradition for me.
If you were unaware, today is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But, I am sure the majority of you knew that.
A year ago today, I was challenged to read and watch Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech and then reflect. So I did. And then I challenged you to do the same. Which I am going to do again.
So before you keep reading, you can read the speech HERE. And then, watch it:
I said this last year, and I will say it again. After reading and listening I feel nothing I have to say is of any importance. I will warn you that this blog, this blog, will not be nearly as eloquent as what you just heard. So, with that warning, feel free to continue.
This entire speech is worth quoting and pointing out. It is hard for me to pinpoint the specific things that stuck out to me this year. But, there are a few.
In the middle of his speech Dr. King discusses the “urgency of now.” He beautifully states that NOW is the time to make change. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Not even five minutes from now. Just NOW. As I think about that, I am kind of hit in the face. How often do I see something wrong with the world we live in and say, “I can deal with that later,” or “I can’t do anything right now,” or “Someone else will deal with it, right?,” ? So often we see something wrong, let it cool off, and then try to fix it. But I think Dr. King is right. If we continually push off our problems, they are never going to be solved. Ever.
I am also struck with Dr. King’s phrase, “We cannot walk alone….We cannot turn back.” I am so reminded that we can’t solve everything alone. We are so interconnected to those around us-whether be someone sitting right next to me, or someone halfway around the world. All of us are connected. And all of our fates, just like Dr. King says, are “inextricably bound” together. If we cannot all move forward together, whether we completely agree on things or not, we are going to be stuck in a never-ending stand-still. No change. No progress. No real hope for a better tomorrow. If we aren’t progressing forward, we are in a way turning back. Eventually you get so bogged down that you fall back into old habits, and progress, well it gets lost.
Dr. King’s speech reminds that I simply can’t do things alone. One person might be able to start a movement, but it takes a group to make something come of it. I am reminded that all people, we are in this together. I am reminded that you can’t be a leader if you have no followers. And, what is a movement of one person? Is that even a movement?
I am speechless. In awe. Stunned. Amazed.
As I read and watched this speech I have the extreme urge to be better. Sure, that probably sounds really silly. But it’s the truth. As I sit here, I am filled with the urge to go out and make something of my life, of current circumstances. But, more than anything, I am filled passion. I said that last year as well, but it still rings true for me.
As I watched the video, I was so drawn in by Dr. King’s obvious passion for freedom. His passion was contagious. When the camera panned the audience, you could see it in their faces. I like to consider myself a pretty passionate person. But, what am I doing with that passion? Am I using it? These are the thoughts I am left with. I am hopeful that as I continue on my journey, for it is only the beginning, that I will find ways to exude passion. Every. Single. Day.
I hope the same for you. That you will find that one (or many) thing(s) that you are passionate about. And you will live your life in a way that utilizes that pure passion for the betterment of those around you.
Peace and Blessings