A thought (or two) on MLK Day

I’ll be 39 this year.  And although I am always hard on myself, thinking I should be further along in my life- more established professionally, more secure financially, among other things- the truth is I’ve done okay for myself.  And it’s okay for me to say that. (More on that in a later post).

But on this Monday, a day many of us appreciate only because it’s a day off, I did a little research.  Shamefully, I admit that I know a lot less about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. than I should.  A whole lot less.  So, after watching ESPN’s Town Hall Meeting Special on Martin Luther King and the Black Athlete, I started doing a little research.  Turns out, Dr. King was 39 when he died.  The same age I am now.

Amazing.

I’ll spare you the history lesson, pretending I am the authority on the topic.  But I will tell you this.  Like I have told many of my close friends and family, we all have an obligation to the world and to ourselves.  We have a responsibility to tap into every ounce of potential we have inside of us.  We don’t have to change the world, like Dr. King (and John F. Kennedy, and Mahatma Gandhi, and Mother Teresa) did.  But we are required to give back everything we have.  It is our price for breathing air.  It is the rent we must pay for living our lives here on Earth.

I can’t begin to understand the courage it took men like Dr. King to stand up for what he believed in, even amidst threats on his life and what he probably realized was an inevitable death.  Trailblazers like Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks, who followed his example, led a life that I cannot fathom.  Heck, many of us have a hard enough time standing up to our friends, spouses, and bosses with conviction- let alone a country, world even.

But as an African-American male, I feel it is important for me to do just that.  Stand up for what I believe in.  To make the impact on this world that has been bestowed upon me with the tools God has given me.  And again, as I’ll state over and over and over again, I am NOT unique in that.  Every one of us has skills, talents, and gifts.  Every one of us has the ability to make a HUGE impact on others and the world at large.  And again, every one of us is required to do that.

And I know it’s not politically correct, but I do think my requirement- along with other black males- is greater.  With more negative stigmas to overcome, like others before me I continue to lay the groundwork for those who follow me.  But I embrace it.  To have young black males (young people of all genders and ethnicities, really, but black males in particular) look at me as an example of possibility in this nation is something I openly accept.  I am a former college athlete who still considers himself a gym rat.  But I am also a nerd, not even in recovery.  And presenting myself to other black males in that manner, showing them how wonderful a thing it is to maximize every part of yourself, is an amazing gift.  A responsibility, yes.  But a blessing.  And I intend to thank the world every day for the opportunity to give back.   I intend to show the world the greatness that lies in me.

And I thank Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for showing me- showing all of us- the same.

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About bbluford
I am an executive finance professional with a love for process and application development (MS Access, Excel, Quickbooks), mostly as it relates to Accounting and Business Functions. I also love to write and share ideas with other people in this world. I'm an admitted Gym Rat who works out excessively. The best summation of me is that I love to teach and to learn.

2 Responses to A thought (or two) on MLK Day

  1. Drew Bertola says:

    Hi Bobby!

    I just met Martin Luther King III over at Chegg a couple weeks ago (got a nice photo w/ him up on my FB page). Chegg announced that 1% of all revenue that comes in today would be donated to the King Center.

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