Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote

If you want to be cool, be Martin Luther King, Jr. cool.

By @ 01/18/13 in Community, Everything

Although each day we’re seeing the sunshine a bit longer, reminding us spring is approaching fast, we’re still in the heart of winter with its cold days and often overcast skies. In honor of these cooler days, I’ve been thinking about what’s been cool and not so cool this week leading into the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Not so cool:

  • Lance Armstrong. It wasn’t cool what he did back then; and to many, this week’s Oprah interview is a PR misstep for him. What do you think?

Pretty cool:

  • Walmart announced it will provide a job to any veteran who applies.  Cool.
  • Mayor Johnson kept up the fight to keep our Sacramento Kings. Cool. (Stay tuned for a blog post about the Kings.)
  • This week, Martin Luther King, Jr. would have turned 84.  Cool + bittersweet. Our continued recognition of all he did for our country, and world. Cool.

Another particularly cool thing for me this week was hearing Pulitzer prize winning poet Tracy K. Smith’s essay on National Public Radio. Did you catch it? If not, click here to listen or take a moment to read her essay. For those of us working in small business, as well as those of us working in nonprofit organizations trying to make the world better, she made an excellent recommendation: wake up, stop complacent dreaming and, instead, put desires into action – activate our hope. She said, “Hope makes us agents in our own fates. Hope defies us to sit back and wait. It says, buckle down, gather steam. Hope denies us retreat to the dream.”

Whatever you do this holiday weekend, I hope you also consider Ms. Smith’s advice. As we honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, we should try to remember what exactly this legacy demonstrates: the greatest things in life can only be achieved by activating your dreams.

What could activation mean for your own life?