Today was quite the relaxing day and it was no secret that I needed it. Outside of stopping by Clippers Barbershop to get a quick edge up, I did absolutely nothing today which was perfectly fine with me. The last several days have been emotionally, mentally, and physically draining for me. There have been quite a few thoughts floating around my head since Sunday, but I am glad I waited awhile to share. On Sunday evening I had finished my thoughts on finding your purpose and believe it or not I was reminded on Monday of my purpose.
For the last couple of years around the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend I have found myself writing something to bring more attention to what we can be doing in the world today. I won't go into much detail but over the last couple of days in my daily interactions with people I was subjected to the lack of education and tremendous amount of ignorance that still exists in the world today. If anyone knows me, you would probably agree that I do respect all opinions as we all have them. What I don't respect is opinions that are not based on any facts or show that you are speaking with a knowledge deficiency. I can blame my mother and my family for instilling in me that knowledge is power.
As I listened to negativity and inappropriate comments I can't say that didn't get a little upset, but I used the opportunity to educate others. It's almost like many of the leaders before me where standing right there with me telling me to be visibly cool and use the platform as an opportunity to educate the world by bringing the light to their darkness. It may be ironic that when sending out my quotes yesterday, I focused on two of them in particular when I began to feel the anger and hurt inside of me based on what I was hearing.
All I know is in that very moment these two quotes from Dr. King never meant more to me.
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
As I thought about the quotes I knew that I needed to use any of the negative energy that I was feeling and live out my purpose in the moment. I couldn't remain silent so I began to ask questions to understand the basis of the comments. Clearly, I could see that they didn't know, so what a great opportunity to talk to them about my experiences at the Civil Rights Museums in Birmingham, AL and Memphis, TN as well as the King Center in Atlanta. Funny how eyebrows were raised and ears were open as they were surprised to hear about my background and knowledge of the Civil Rights movement. Again I thank my mother for all those years of making me have a major role in the Black History Month Celebrations the 34 years I lived in the world.
I can't lie and say that I wasn't upset about everything as I stepped back and looked at everything. I can say enough that I love my family and extended for talking to me about the situation and all the emotions that was feeling. I was pretty heated for awhile, but did not allow those outside my circle to see. My purpose here is not fulfilled as I need to share my light in even more places.
As I think about Dr. King's Dream then and now I can only wonder about what he would think about where the world is today. Let's take a moment and think about a few things to see where we are.
What kind of meaning do you think the Dream has today for people? Do we need to revisit the Dream? What kind of progress has the country made since the "I have a Dream" speech was first delivered? Are you committed to progress? Are we moving forward? Or are we moving backward?
Maybe I am little to passionate about some things, but ultimately I want to make a difference. If I ruffle a few feathers I may not mind too much as the needs of many far outweigh the needs of a few. I am not in anyway trying to force an opinion or belief on anyone, I would like to see indivduals even in 2012 embrace differences and know that we could do amazing things together. It really is okay to admit you don't know some things, but discredit what you don't know because you are actually fearful of knowledge.
I know that there is still quite of progress that needs to be made in my life and that is probably just a small reflection of the progress that is still needed in the world. Collectively, I know that if we believe in something as simple as #PositiveMovementsForward we can continue to progress with the messages in Dr. King's I have a Dream speech. It won't happen overnight, but we need to be committed to make a difference somehow some way.
I challenge you to actively be a part of progress so that we don't regress any further.
“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”
-Mark Victor Hansen
“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation”
“Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
-George Bernard Shaw
“We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
“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.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.