“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King Jr
Very few Americans are as celebrated as Martin Luther King Jr., the Baptist minister and social activist who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States until his tragic death in 1968.
As an African-American born in the rural south in 1929, MLK faced an uphill battle all his life. Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, the young Martin was considered a precocious student who paid little attention to his studies and found great discomfort in religion.
That all began to change in his junior year, when he took a Bible class and renewed his faith.
By 1948, he had earned a degree from Morehouse College before moving on to the Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. It was at Morehouse College that MLK opened his eyes to racial inequality.
Following years of successful civil rights activism, MLK and 61 other activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.
Two years later, MLK visited Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace in India, which emboldened him to continue down the path of peaceful activism.
On August 28, 1963, MLK would leave his mark on American history by delivering the famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
King had such a profound impact on American race relations that his efforts resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which authorized the federal government to desegregate public accommodations.
The same year, MLK received the Nobel Peace Prize.
MLK would continue his activism until his assassination on April 4, 1968. His killer, James Earl Ray, was eventually apprehended after a two-month manhunt.
King’s assassination was a tragic end to a remarkable life that had a seismic impact on an entire nation.
He proved, just like Gandhi, that non-violent protests can influence tremendous change. MLK gave his life to the civil rights movement.
Nearly 50 years after his death, his legacy is stronger than ever. The third Monday of every January is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, an observed federal holiday in the United States.
What a man
What a great account of someone who saw that there was injustice and he fought to put it right. This brought the attention of this injustice to the government of the time which resulted in them passing the Civil Rights Act 1964.
I personally believe that we are all equal whether it’s the Queen or a homeless person they are all equal in my eyes. I pay as much attention to the cleaner cleaning an office as I do to the managing director of the business.
We all make mistakes
We are all human beings on our own paths in life. Many of us make mistakes sometimes huge ones and that leads us in various directions throughout our lives. Just because someone is born in a more privileged position doesn’t mean they are better than someone who is not.
I take great pleasure in getting to know staff who serve me in coffee shops and service stations. It doesn’t take long to develop a rapport with them which leads to a pleasant experience each time we meet.
I love to get to know people
This is something I have always done, and I am reminded of a recent place I have started to work in. Believe it or not it’s a motorway service station which is 15 minutes from my home. I started working there as the atmosphere is very pleasant and there is a lot of space which feels comfortable.
At first there wasn’t any rapport with any of the staff at Greggs because they didn’t know me but as time went by and we exchanged pleasantries the rapport started to build to where it is now.
They try to surprise me
Now when they see me come in they have my tea ready by the time I get to the counter. All 5 staff now know what I order, and I have the opportunity to encourage them with the way they work as a team to get me order ready before I arrive at the counter.
We have a laugh and a smile, and this encourages us all. It’s a bright spot for me and I believe it is for them. When it is quieter we have a quick chat about various things and then we get on with our days.
It took a while
There is also a particular gentleman who cleans the things away and sweeps up. It took a while to catch his attention but once I did say hello we started to build rapport. Now he makes a point of coming over to say hello and we have a quick banter and then get on with the day.
This again blesses me, and I believe it blesses him too.
These are very simple things which give me great pleasure and I believe that it is these small things in life which make all the difference and give real meaning to it.
Thoughts for the week.
- Are you a busy person under pressure and stressed out?
- Do you ever have time to stop and encourage someone?
- My challenge to you this week is to see if you can build rapport and encourage someone in your world.
- It could be anyone who you interact with on a weekly basis, a shopkeeper, a bus driver, a colleague at work.
- Instead of being in your own world of business try to take a little time to get to know someone and watch how good that makes you feel.
Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and stay safe.