A great man. A leader. A hero. Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr, a man who was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and fought for marginalized groups at the expense of his own life. Remember that the heroes who have gone before are patterns for who we aspire to be. Here are lessons we have learned from the words of Martin Luther King Jr.:
1. Dream the impossible
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Martin Luther King’s famous declaration of having a dream is a declaration to us all. His speeches encouraged others to have a dream, no matter how impossible it may seem in their present context, and pursue it. His dream was not for him alone. His dream was for the benefit of him and others around him. When you dream and when you hope, think about how it will benefit others as well. If you start a business, think about how it can help people, look ahead at the philanthropic work your business can do. Your dream must inspire courage, hope, and action in others. A powerful dream can go on to inspire millions, just start by believing
2. Triumph over darkness with your light
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Remember that at the end of the day, your good character and your unshakable values are what will always remain. Hate and a bad attitude accomplish nothing. Strive to make the next right choice and be the next version of yourself. Think about how much love, kindness, discipline, and hard work can accomplish, even if at the end of the day you have nothing, these values will always remain inside of you. Martin Luther King Jr. maintained his stance to the end and the value of his actions and character went far beyond himself.
3. There is a good future out there
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
What are your next steps? What is the next thing you can do to set your life in a better direction? When thinking about the next steps in your life, keep in mind that you are taking a step out with faith that everything will work out for the best. You may not see the whole picture and all you have is what you see now. However, if you put your hope out into the future, you will see much more than what surrounds you right now.
Let's spend this Martin Luther King day reflecting on the good values he has left behind and move forward with strength.