Martin Luther King Jr. Day will always hold a special place in my heart, as I have some amazing memories associated with that very day. Additionally, I have always been a fan of Dr. King and his contributions to our society. So, it only seems fitting that I publish this month’s article on MLK Jr. Day.
I recently took some time to re-read the transcript of Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech. I am amazed at the power this speech still holds with me – over 50 years after it was originally delivered. If you haven’t read the text in a while, I certainly recommend spending a few minutes to review Dr. King’s words. Regardless of your point of view, background or situation, there are three key items I feel we can take away from the “I have a dream” speech:
#1 – Appreciate & Take Advantage Of Our Freedoms
Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech makes references to the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the United States Constitution. One thing rings true at the core of all of these references … freedom. Countless individuals have spared their lives protecting this concept of freedom for our nation. Honestly, it is probably the single most valuable attribute of the United States of America. Let Freedom Ring!
With this in mind, I stress that we always appreciate our freedom and take full advantage of the freedom that has been given to us and preserved over the years. Find ways that you can use your freedom to make this world a better place.
The adoption of my son is a direct benefit of the efforts made by Dr. King. I cannot imagine going through the process in a world stuck in 1963 ideals. So, I truly appreciate everything that Martin Luther King Jr. did to improve our society in such a way that I can experience the amazing emotions of being a father to my son.
#2 – Equality for All
Dr. King’s main focus in his speech was to resolve the issue that no person should “be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” That everyone deserves an equal opportunity – building upon the freedom by which our country is based.
This is probably the easiest item to apply in our daily lives. If we simply treat others in the way we wish to be treated, we will naturally be more apt to provide a stance of equality and avoid introducing any unnecessary judgement.
In my lifetime, I have been blessed with the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of individuals – both in my career as an Information Technology professional and in my personal life. Truly, I believe this has been a blessing – with the results of such interactions far exceeding the otherwise-limited accomplishments.
#3 – Dream like Dr. King
The world of 1963 was a far different world than 2014. Dr. King had a dream that his children and their children would not have to experience the same world of 1963. So, he wrote a speech – speaking directly from his heart – on how he hoped things would change. While his dream and views ultimately led to his death, his contributions and sacrifice did play a huge role in the improvements that have been made in today’s world.
I believe we should all have dreams and strive like crazy to reach them. If you are not happy in your current situation, figure out what really makes you happy and take that leap of faith to get there. Sure, it will be scary and certainly there are unknowns, but no dream or goal comes without some form of risk. However, when that dream is reached, the feeling of accomplishment and success is second to none.
Thus, on the day we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, I challenge you with the following:
- remember to appreciate the freedom that has been given to us
- always treat others with respect
- search deep inside your heart and soul in order to find your dream
- figure out how you can make a difference – with yourself and those important to you – to ultimately make the world a better place
Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, everyone! Let Freedom Ring!
Have a really great day!!!