How will you be remembered?

Etched into the stone on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a marker of the exact spot Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood to deliver the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963 in Washington DC

Today, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King was born in Atlanta Georgia in 1929 and died by assassination April 4, 1868 in Memphis Tennessee.   Dr. King was a Baptist Minister and lead the Civil Rights Movement from the mid-1950s until his death.  He advanced civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience.

He is often remembered for his “I have a dream” speech, but throughout his life he shared many words of wisdom.   Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes from his speeches, books, and writings.  

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 

Strength to Love, 1963

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.” 

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” 

Strength to Love, 1963

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” 

—Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, Norway, 1964

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” 

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

As I thought about Dr. King today, I thought about all the struggle for equality, and the fight to make life better for all.   I agree that we have made great strides, but we must continue so the dream of a better world never dies.  My mission is to use my gifts and talents to help others discover theirs.   I believe that when a person is walking in their purpose, they do not have time to hate, or mistreat others, because they are on their own mission of greatness.  So today, as you celebrate his life and legacy, I think it is important to think about your own.   How will you be remembered?   What will people say?  

I end with another one of my favorite quotes, by Dr. King, and that is “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

We all have to determine what matters in life, how we want to be remembered, and what impact do we want to make.  Therefore, make a lasting impact.

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

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