Photo obtained from- http://www.drmartinlutherkingjr.com/
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Jan 15, 1929-April 4, 1968).
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an icon who was and still is revered by many. He went down in the history books as a unique individual who was selfless, charismatic, and passionate about racial equality and justice. More than his stance on issues relating to politics and racism, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a model leader with traits that very few leaders have today. Here are ten critical aspects that one can take away from his legacy:
i. Always Have a Goal and See the End from the Beginning-
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was made known to some, especially those outside the United States by his I have a dream speech. It is an emotional piece; a poetry-like speech that allows people to pique into his mind and know his thoughts. The same speech also stays relevant; applicable to social issues even decades later, and gave him and the entire black community a hope for the future. The speech portrays the significance of having a goal, and seeing the end clearly from the beginning..
ii. Never Look Down on Other People-
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an individual who was passionate about equality, and this transcended racial boundaries, social tiers, or even religion. He went on the record stating that “Wisdom is something that is present in all people, even in the humblest of circumstances,” meaning that even the most modest person has something to offer. Everyone has something unique to offer, and we should therefore not look down on any.
iii. Always Be Driven by Conviction-
It is a popular saying that conviction makes a person. It shapes their decisions, their utterances along with the moves that they make in the society. King was had a strong conviction about the struggle he fought and gave his life for. There was no hint of cowardice in his actions or speeches, and this enabled him to impact more lives than he’d ever thought he could.
iv. Human Beings are Interdependent upon Each Other-
Every person’s story is intertwined. King’s stance on nonviolent actions was constantly communicated with love emphasizing that no one person, one family, one country or one race can survive independently on its own. No one in the world can live life in isolation. Everyone is caught in an inexorable network of affinity which is subsequently tied in one big vestment of destiny. This legacy draws us inward to continue to evaluate our actions and strengthen our understanding that whatever we do affects others.
v. Convince Yourself First-
This is an aspect that borrows heavily from the fact that no one should believe in others without first believing in themselves. Dr. King first believed in himself before he believed in those around him, and this allowed him to have a more significant impact than others during his time.
vi. Always Embrace Fear-
Dr. King was a prime target during his time given what he stood for and what he always said. It was a scary position in which he was. As a preacher and a leader of his movement, he went to jail for twenty-nine times. He also knew he might even get killed. However, he did not try to hide his fear or run away from the same. Instead, he embraced it, and this allowed him to deliver passionate and moving speeches that outlived him and continue to help the movement.
vii. Embracing Creative Tension-
As mentioned earlier, Dr. King was an individual who was always going against the norm. At some point, he was approached by community leaders who accused him of disturbing the standard. However, Dr. King went ahead to point out that this was the point in the first place. He argued that change would not be achieved if there was no tension, and that nothing would be done if everyone stuck to the norms. This argument is valid and still applicable till this day.
viii. Always Involve Everyone-
Dr. King was a people’s person. He stood for the people, worked for and with them. In his Civil Rights Movement, he managed to mobilize as many people as he could, and this allowed him to achieve his desired outcome. Had he not done that, his mission would suffered much more than it did, and without and significant impact.
ix. Risk Always Comes with Telling the Truth-
In one of Dr. King’s famous quotes, he stated that “People would only remember the silence of friends and not the words of enemies.” He argued that there has never been anything safe about being honest and doing the right thing. It always comes with risks. As such, it is essential to weigh one’s options before saying anything.
x. Always Do What It Takes to Turn Your Dream into A Reality-
Dr. King’s I have a dream speech is one of the most popular, and evidently, the seed that drove his movement. He died fighting for this vision. Many die without actualizing their dreams.The sincere and disciplined efforts he invested into his work advanced his fight and helped realize his prophetic dream.