In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.


I could think of no greater way to honor this great man, than to take my favorite quotes from his “I Have Dream” speech and expound on what they mean to me.

My 5 favorite quotes from Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech:

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”

As long as there is ignorance there will be bigotry and racism.  Our generation doesn’t fight against the blatant racism of segregation or slavery. Our generation fights the subtle forms of bigotry ingrained in our institutions and perpetrated by innocent yet ignorant people. We stand our ground by not responding to situations or people with feelings but let our values be our filter in how to respond. Yes this means we stand our ground and point it out when necessary and even leave if we must.  But there are times to teach and educate without the anger of our suffering.

“You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.”

The building of character and fearless resolve is the benefit of responding based on our values.  If we respond based on feelings and our insecurities we really are no better than those who are acting on their feelings and insecurities.

“It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro.”

There’s only been one time in my life where the door of opportunity was closed based on my race and/or sex.  It’s one thing to suspect it when things don’t go well, but it’s another when the “higher powers” are telling you it’s because ‘you are black and a woman’ it ain’t gonna happen.  That was the most helpless moment of my life. But what got me out of the moment was my determination. Sometimes I feel African-Americans have lost their fight, looking for handouts from the government and the like.  We are a strong race but a broken people.

“…that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”

The power of a vision can uplift the most downtrodden of souls. I’m not talking about setting a goal of winning American Idol and ya can’t sing!  But if you want to be a singer, be willing to pay the price and take lessons to improve your voice and walk the path laid before you to succeed (which may or may not include American Idol). Every knock down is an opportunity to learn and get stronger. Resistance makes you stronger in the gym and in life!

“I have a dream today.”

Key word: TODAY…  One of my goals for 2010 is to climb Mt. Rainier.  I have daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly work out goals to help me get there.  God willing, I’ll be atop Mt. Rainier late summer (they may have to airlift me down, but I’ll climbing to the top on my own accord) I treat every aspect of my life with the same discipline. What do want to accomplish in your life?  How can you make it happen?  Set weekly, monthly and yearly goals and steps to achieve your dreams.

2 thoughts on “In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

  1. I love this. Thank you. When I teach, when I stay strong in my values and my vision, I don't get dragged down in the fear and anger in the room. In some companies, the vision I have for leadership often seems impossible to achieve. As you, I won't give up on my goal. Thanks for bringing Dr. King's work into the context of today.

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