I have always admired Martin Luther King Jr. The popular American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s. I first came to learn about him in high school when an old boy of the school visited to give a talk. He carried along with him a tap with some of Luther King’s speeches.
I was hooked.
Since then I have read his story on the Wikipedia, downloaded most of his speeched on Youtube and watched biographies and Movies such as Selma (2014) starring David Oyelowo as King.
It’s amazing how one man’s life can still change and inspire lives several decades after his death. King’s relentless pursuit of justice for all mankind, his desire for social and economic equality are some of the admirable attributes that we can all emulate from this great man.
When life gets hard and you lose a sense of meaning or purpose, sometimes the best thing to do is tap into the spirit that motivated these men to soar to great heights. Their words can be a source of inspiration or perhaps they can spark something inside you that gets your life a completely new direction.
Your life’s blueprint should have these three basic principles according to King.
A deep belief in your own dignity, worth and somebodiness. It doesn’t matter what your nationality is, the color of your skin or your social status. Always feel that you count, you have worth and that your life is significant.
Have a determination to have excellence in your various fields of endeavour. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart (Col 3:33). Be a bush if you can not be a tree, a trail if you can’t be highway, a star if you can’t be the sun. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail.
A commitment to the eternal principles of beauty, love and justice. It doesn’t matter what the crowd says, what your parents, teacher or pastor says. It doesn’t matter what belief system you scribe to, religion or faith. These principles are as universal as they are eternal.
Finally life is a journey. I tend not to find perfection in life. It’s never ideal. No one has ever lived in a utopian kind of world. But we must at least make attempts to reach the highest levels of perfection. That’s why King says “keep moving”.
If you can’t fly, run.
If you can’t run, walk.
If you can’t walk, crawl.
But by all means, keep moving.