Here in the States, we are celebrating the life and tremendous accomplishments of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. I’ve no doubt that his work and words are being considered in many parts of the world, places where his ideals are being met and places where certainly where they’re not even close.
Last year, I posted a portion of a brief speech the Reverend made in 1967, six months before he was murdered. Re-reading that speech today, I just—it’s just good. It speaks to every one of us, and it spoke of his hope for the future of everyone, no matter their skin colour (which is so…it’s not the most important thing, people). The man’s hope always was that we could live in harmony—and why should we not? Aren’t we all people?
I’m posting a portion again, because these words, I think, are nearly as important as those still ringing from the speech he made in DC. It’s the same theme, really, though more subtly put forth. But he always wanted every person of every colour to remember that ultimately, they were in large part responsible for the outcome of their own life, no matter what society told them may have made them “less”.
I want to suggest some of the things that should begin your life’s blueprint. Number one in your life’s blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you fell that you’re nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.
Secondly, in your life’s blueprint you must have as the basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You’re going to be deciding as the days, as the years unfold what you will do in life — what your life’s work will be. Set out to do it well.
And I say to you, my young friends, doors are opening to you–doors of opportunities that were not open to your mothers and your fathers — and the great challenge facing you is to be ready to face these doors as they open.
King was a visionary, to be sure—he saw (and helped put into motion) the changes that would open those doors. To have the skills and determination necessary to stride through those open doors, however, is up to no one but those standing before them. Good and important thoughts for all of us, every day.