- Martin Luther King Day; It’s Not Enough!
- Are There No Leaders with Real Balls/Ovaries Anymore?
- 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 crying, watching our old black and white TV 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.
I looked 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, 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 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.
I was a boy living in a ghetto environment of a dirty industrial town in England; 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 British politician. Why was she crying? In my boyish naivety, I asked: “who is he?” 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 (the person 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, but it was also the day something within my very soul was awakened. Even though he was no longer alive, I had found my consultant
I began to grasp the difference this man had made, the impact he had left as a legacy, not just for black people but all people. That day I began to understand that one person can make a massive positive difference. That day as a naive ten 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 deeper more soulful level we are all on a journey, and it’s important to remove the blocks to our mental, emotional and Personal and Leadership 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. If you want to be a better leader a Full Monty Leader, you will need to grow a pair! Real Authentic leadership takes courage, the kind of courage Martin Luther King and the people of all colours who stood on the front lines of the civil rights movement had.
40+ plus years ago something tragic happened, a great man, a man who will remain a giant, died. Many will tell us that racism is over, but we all know that’s a lie. You and still see far more of the injustices he fought against than we would prefer. However, that tragic event gave birth to a flood of awakening and opportunities that have changed the world.
The Need for Dr. King’s message is I believe, even stronger today than it was in the 60’s. Today is Martin Luther King day; it’s a day we can be sad for the loss of a great man, or a day we can rejoice for the difference he made that we benefit from, no matter what our colour or creed is. Martin Luther King, the man, is gone.
It seems that right now in 2016, particularly in the present political climate we need to stand up for our civil rights regardless of our colour or creed. For me it seems that Dr King was trying to teach us… we are all one. We are not blacks, whites, yellow or purple striped. We are not just Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or anything else they can use to separate us…We are humanity. That means, nothing, and I mean nothing, can separate us from the truth of who we truly are, not racial profiling, not extremists of any colour or religious belief, not even war.
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Remember this always:
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
When you let yourself truly know this, then it that moment you are, I believe, keeping Martin Luther King’s Dream Alive
Happy Martin Luther King Day.
Long live Dr. Martin Luther King, in all our hearts, minds, and actions.
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