As we embark on another day of remembrance and celebration of the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to our country, I want to take a moment to reflect on the values he showcased in both words and actions. Of course I’m talking about the late great, Martin Luther King Jr.
It’s no accident that many great visionaries and thought leaders have similar core values that go beyond their ability to love, their ability to forgive, and their nonviolent revolutionary spirit. Those values include living with courage, compassion, dignity, humility, and in service of others
Courage is what moves us beyond fear. It can be something as serious as being willing to take a bullet both literally and/or figuratively for things you believe in, to having the courage to let go of your EGO and change your perspective on things. Martin Luther King Jr. was blessed with both. I personally strive to keep EGO out and allow a flexible perspective in my every day life.
Compassion flows when we show empathy and concern for those suffering. That could mean that you become the face of a cause you believe in, like Dr. King, or that you volunteer your time and/or donate money to causes that move you. Now with social media, numerous opportunities present themselves everyday. And sharing your support for these causes can be as easy as just sharing their message across platforms. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Dignity to me is about having self-respect and a sense of pride in who you are and then giving the same respect to all who cross your path. Self respect is again very different from being EGOcentric and believing that your way is the only right way. As Dr. King showed, it’s more about being inclusionary vs. allowing exclusionary practices to continue. Again, here it starts with you.
Humility is about knowing your self-worth, but not feeling the need to make sure everyone else knows it too, and making them feel less than. It’s not about shying away from accolades or acknowledgments at all, it’s about knowing that whether they come or not, that you’re worthy of the best. Dr. King and other great leaders have definitely operated from this standpoint and have been commemorated as a result.
In service of others is about sharing your abilities, talents, and all the best you have to offer. It’s about giving freely, without expecting anything in return. This is when you allow yourself to truly understand and live what humanity is all about. It’s about living beyond selfishness and greed, toward living in gratitude and living in the moment, which is what it’s all about.
So as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. today, I encourage you to not only take time to admire the man behind it all, but to take an honest look at yourself to see if there are any tweaks and/or improvements that can be made toward a happier, peaceful life. I know I will.
How are you celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr Holiday?
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