A few days ago via the Growing Leaders blog of Dr. Time Elmore, I read this speech below by civil rights activists and fighter for free and fair to all, Martin Luther King Jr. it made me think about myself and the impact I can and should be having.
“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you’re afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand. Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death in the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right. You died when you refused to stand up for truth. You refused to stand up for justice.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
With today being the 38th celebration of my arrival into this crazy world, I ask what impact have I had, what impact will I have and what impact should I be making. By the age of 38 when Martin Luther King Jr made this speech he had already made his ‘I have a dream speech’ a few years earlier, had mobilized people to stand for what is right, had at a young age shown his leadership ability to mobilize and guide people to new ways and heights. By the age of 39 he was assasinated for what he was doing and standing for, leaving an impact for generations to come.
So as I turn 38 today, I am posed with, am I, as he described 38 going on 90, or what impact have I had, am I standing for what is right, and what impact can I have going forward.
I am challenged … challenged to be to 38 and not 90 … challenged to spend each day appropriately, impactful and purposeful … challenged to know that I, as with each one of us, can and should stand for what is right, have positive influence and create meaning.
I have been blessed today with many birthday messages and some amazing memories were reignited. Thank you to all the special people in my life. My amazing family, friends, dynamic and special colleagues, athletes and former athletes. Thank you!