Many years ago something tragic happened and that tragic event gave birth to a flood of awakening and opportunities that have changed the world.
From the hallway, I could hear the muffled sound of the TV in the other room. Curiosity pulled me into that room to find my mother watching our old black and white set. I glanced at the set where I saw a man I didn’t recognize speaking in a way that commanded my attention. As compelling as this man was, there was something else going on in that room that had an even stronger pull… my mother. Looking over at my mom I saw her dislodge her glasses upwards as she wiped a steady stream of tears from her eyes. I had seen my mother cry many times. To be honest at that point in our lives there seemed to be an abundance of reasons for my mom to be in tears, but this was different.
As a ten-year-old boy seeing my mother cry was something that always disturbed me. I walked over, put my hand on my mom’s shoulder and in an attempt to comfort her I asked what was wrong. Looking up at me, she tried to smile but it wasn’t really working. She stumbled for words and pointed at the TV saying: “He’s dead?” I looked back at the set and the powerful charismatic presence of Martin Luther King Jr. rang out like a bell in the fog.
As a boy living in a ghetto environment of a dirty industrial town, I had no idea why my mother would be crying about a man I didn’t think I’d ever seen before. I didn’t recognize him as a movie star, a pop star or even a politician. Why was she crying? In my boyish naivety, I asked, “who is this man?” My mom said; “that’s Martin Luther King, someone shot him.” I was still puzzled. My mom continued through a flood of tears and said; “He was a great man, and now he’s dead”.
I became fascinated with finding out who this man had been. I asked my uncle who I considered to be the smartest person I knew and he told me of Martin Luther King’s fight for civil rights; how Dr. King had followed Gandhi’s model of peaceful demonstrations. He told me of all the people black and white people alike who had stood by Dr. King’s side for the civil rights of all people.
April 4th 1968 was the day I not only became politically aware, it was the day something within my very soul was awakened. I began to grasp the difference this man had made, the impact he had left as a legacy, not just for black people but for all people. That day I began to understand that one person can make a massive positive difference. That day as a naive 10-year-old I decided that I wanted to have the same kind of massively powerful impact on humanity that Dr. King had had on humanity, including my mother a Jewish woman living in a place that might have been a million miles away.
I, of course, had no idea how I could make that difference; and to be honest, it seemed impossible based on the “facts” of who I was and the environment that surrounded me. I just knew that day that something within me had changed and it would never be the same.
Many people have seen Dr. King’s message as a message about freedom for black people. To me, his message was much deeper than color or creed. It was about the understanding that we are all the same, that at a soul level we are all on a journey, and it’s important to remove the blocks to our spiritual, mental, and emotional evolution. Although we may perceive those blocks as being outside ourselves, the truth is that they would all instantly disappear if we would commit to removing the ones on the inside.
Something tragic happened, a great man, a man who will remain a giant, died. I still see some of the injustices he fought against. However, that tragic event gave birth to a flood of awakening and opportunities that have changed the world.
Dr. King’s message is, I believe, even stronger today than it was in the 60’s. I believe it is the strength of our heart’s desire to become the magnificent beings we were born to be that keeps taking this world, (despite what the media feeds us), to a place of knowing that we are all one. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can separate us from the truth of who we truly are… A gift!
Remember this always: You are a gift from the universe, and when you are truly willing to know it, you will become the gift to THE world that you were born to be.
Long live Dr. Martin Luther King, in all our hearts, minds, and actions.
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One of the questions I’m most often asked is; What authentic leadership is and how do we define it?
As a result, with years of experience and extensive requests and research I have created The Authentic Leadership Matrix. It splits what leadership is into five separate categories. The Authentic Leadership Matrix is designed to give you a way to have a clear view of how you perform in each of the five main areas that are required for you to become a world class authentic leader. The program takes you through each of the five categories in a simple manner with yes or no questions. http://matrix.fullmontyleadership.com
With gratitude, Dov…
I also write for Entrepreneur.com:
- Is There Life After Success(ion)?
- Why 47 Percent of Your Best People Are Ready to Leave — and What You Can Do About It
- The 11 Questions Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Ask Themselves
- Why Being a Self-Aware Leader Is Not Enough
- Unlocking ‘the 4 Cs’ to Create a Fiercely Loyal Corporate Culture
“In 2015, Dov Baron was cited by Inc Magazine as one of the Top 100 Leadership Speaker to book for your next conference! He speaks internationally and is The Leading Authority on Next-Gen Authentic Leadership and creating a Culture of Fiercely Loyal Leaders. FullMontyLeadership.com
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