Life Lessons Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Taught Us
There are many moments, people, and events that stand out in history. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is certainly one of them and every January 17th we get to honor this great man. Dr. King is a historical icon that is best known for his contributions to the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He was appointed President of the Montgomery Improvement Association in 1955 after Rosa Parks got arrested for violating Alabama’s segregation laws for not giving up her seat on a public bus. Her arrest lead to African Americans boycotting the Montgomery bus lines for almost a year in peaceful protest to the segregation laws. It was not only one of the first wins for the Civil Rights Movement, but the approach to protesting was changed to non violence during this time.
The Civil Rights Movement has its roots in the mid 1940’s and gained momentum in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was a mass protest across the United States in an effort to eliminate racial segregation and discrimination that African Americans were faced with. During his fight, Dr. King was imprisoned over 30 times. Him and his family were constantly being threatened and their house was even bombed and burned. Still he pleaded for non violent and peaceful protests. His unwavering conviction for social justice and equality is inspirational. He is the epitome of peace, love, hope, and courage which is why we celebrate him every year.
There are many lessons we can learn from history and especially Dr. King.
Always Have A Dream
Dreaming is one of the best things someone can do. Dreams provide hope and can be inspirational. They give individuals a chance to set goals for themselves. But dreaming is only the first step. Dreams need action to make them real. Break your dreams down into actionable steps and be so certain of achieving them, that nothing can stop you from making them a reality.
Everyone Has Value
Every person has value and deserves to be treated humanely, fairly and equally. There is unlimited potential in each and everyone of us. It is our life’s purpose to tap into that potential and live your best life. Treat others the way you would want to be treated and remember you never know what someone may be going through, so be kind.
Never Give Up
Never give up and never surrender. You will never know how close you are if you stop. One more step is what it takes to win. Listen to your body when it is time to take a break. Rest when you are tired, but get right back to it when you feel better. You’ll be more effective with a fresh mind and rested body.
It’s OK To Say No
Rosa Parks started a movement with simply saying no. She was arrested for violating segregation laws after refusing to move to the back of the bus. She later famously said, “the only tired I was, was of giving in.” Saying no is empowering and important for self care and self worth. Everyone has a breaking point when things in life are wrong. Sometimes all it takes it to make things right, is to peacefully say no.
Love Conquers Hate
Dr. King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Love is the most powerful emotion we have. How we feel is determined by us. It is easy to hate but healthier to forgive and love. Remember, whatever thoughts our mind focuses on grows—we can choose light or darkness but the choice is always ours.
One Speech Can Change The World
What we say and how we say it, matters. Our words have value and impact other people. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is a perfect example. Can you imagine how Dr. King felt delivering that speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking out to a sea of people during the March on Washington in 1963? His message of equality and non violence resonated with so many others and people were drawn to him and his words. He used his influence, charisma, power, and words to better humanity. And he was killed for it. He accomplished so much in his short life.
Leave A Legacy
Strive to leave a legacy. Make an impact on others. Choose something you are passionate about whether that is a charity, business or even your family. Start small and be consistent. Do something so wonderful in your life that it will carry on and grow in the future. Leaving a legacy is one of the best things that you can do for those that you love.