Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. by Living, Learning, and Loving
Those of you who follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or just occasionally read this blog likely have gotten a sense of what is most important to me.
1) Living, an easy word so misunderstood by most, is a major focus. I mean truly living. Enjoying your days and nights, doing things that excite you, finding balance between various areas of your life so that each minute is more valuable and your regrets later in life are minimized. Make that call you have been putting off. Take that vacation you dreamed of. You don’t have to declare “email bankruptcy” but you can find balance by just cutting an hour off the time you spend each night on email or staring at your smart phone.
2) Learning – travelling, meeting new people, listening to elders, studying, reading, writing …. doing whatever I can to become a better person and to help others become better people. They say a person learns the most before they are 7 years old. But you don’t have to STOP learning then, as it seems so many people have done. It thrills me every time I meet someone different than me. Sitting with my grandmother in her last days was fantastic as I was able to glean from her almost 90 years of living. Never stop learning.
3) Loving – LOVE BIG, even at the risk of being hurt. Give those around you your best. Hug a lot, and not just those “pat on the back” hugs. I mean those hugs like my grandpa used to give me that made me think I was going to suffocate but man, did I feel the love. Hug BIG! Say thank you often and do little things that can mean so much at the right time. FORGIVE!!! Think of someone you love right now. If you love big, you should be smiling! Because no matter their faults or crimes, people you love should matter. Always. And finally, LOVE even those you do not know. There are so many people out there that have no family. They need you to show LOVE by giving and reaching out.
Living, Learning, and Loving
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I want to share my favorite quotes from the man that was flawed as we all are but did his part to advance the conversation. His words serve as inspiration to me in some ways, and admonishment in others. He spoke often of living, loving and learning and quotes around these topics have tended to be my favorites!
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.