Living The Dream: The Urgency of Now
As we reflect on Dr. King's life and work, may we view today not as a day off but as an opportunity to explore our growth, our purpose and the ways we can be of service.
Every January, America celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, where we honor the life, legacy, timeless lessons and courageous servant leadership of one of the great Americans to ever live.
Dr. King, who would have turned 92 last week, often said, "If a man or a woman hasn't found something in life they're willing to die for, then maybe they're not fit to live." Some people are bestowed great longevity on this Earth but physically and mentally lead the same life with the same beliefs for years until they die. Dr. King didn’t. He challenged the status quo under immense hostility and opposition, personifying what it means to lead a life of uncommon achievement. While our nation has come to acknowledge and admire his heroic contributions, we must not forget Dr. King’s life was full of tremendous terror, and he ultimately sacrificed it for the betterment of humanity.
If we don't study and understand our past and present, then there will be no future. While Dr. King was prolific and gifted in many ways, he, too, was human. He, too, had fears and doubts. Yet, he never got stuck in his limitations — pushing forward with exceptional bravery, faith, purpose and conviction. His dream stretched beyond himself. Dr. King personified what it meant to be deeply in love with advocating and standing up for what is right, not what is merely comfortable.
If we spend just 16 minutes today listening to the words and engaging with Dr. King's iconic speech at the Lincoln Memorial for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, we’ll realize that the words are increasingly relevant. As a community of positive difference makers and agents of change, Dr. King has passed us the baton to move the conversation and advance forward. We must link the past, present and future by reconnecting Dr. King's ideals on love, unity and equality into the fabrics of our beloved communities.
Each of us is a Dream Maker. With the gift of life, we have the unique opportunity to work toward manifesting our dreams and the ones of those we lead. We can no longer sit on the sidelines or in the stands as spectators thinking someone else will call the right formation to fix the flawed system that has brought today’s inequities. We each have a civic and moral responsibility to lead ourselves and serve our homes, organizations and institutions with grace, compassion, perseverance, humility, self-discipline, unity and togetherness. In 2021, honoring Dr. King's legacy requires each of us to take the road less traveled and to continually strive to speak and live the truth and the dream.
As we reflect on Dr. King's life and work, may we view today not as a day off but as an opportunity to explore our growth, our purpose and the ways we can be of service to others as we venture forward. Each of us can cultivate some solutions to our society's greatest challenges. We must earnestly recognize the time and the fierce urgency of now. As Dr. King once said, "Whatever you are doing, consider it as something having cosmic significance, as it is a part of the uplifting of humanity."
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