When I hear the name Martin Luther King, two phrases very quickly jump into my mind:
The obvious: "I have a dream." And the almost equally obvious and here, paraphrased: ".....judge not by the color of one's skin but by the content of their character."
Those words are now 50 years old.
It seems fitting that the overarching theme is about compassion, understanding, agreeing to disagree and mostly, never sitting in judgement of another. Ever. For any reason.
Such a simple rule to use as the basis for a life well lived. And so rarely followed.
We are all different. It might be our skin color or our politics or our religious beliefs or lack thereof or in the things that stir our individual passions. It is through our differences that we learn and it is because of our differences that we become stronger. Together, each with our own points of view, we bring much to the table of life.
How do we harness such tremendous power so that we may find ways to build bridges rather than construct insurmountable walls?
Through empathy, through love, through reaching out to help those who might benefit from something we might have to offer.
Although today is designated as a day of service, it's not about a single day. It's about every single day. We all have value and we are all capable of contributing something to ease the burden of another.
I challenge all to do something. For someone. It can be as simple as picking up a phone or taking your neighbor's trash cans from the curb or knocking on a door just to let a neighbor know you are there.
Think SMALL. If we all think SMALL and actually DO something, we will make a tremendous impact. Reach out. Connect. Follow your heart and trust your conscious to be your guide. Let your motivation be from a place of genuine care and concern. Speak out on behalf of those whose voices are not being heard. Reach out to those who may need help.
It doesn't matter what you do, it just matters that if you can, you do something. Even if doing something means accepting the help of another.
For the virtual community, check in on someone. Read a few blogs and see if someone can use a kind word. Don't be afraid to say it. A simple "thinking of you" will go far to several people who are going through some very rough times. Yes, right now... there are a few people on the blogroll, on twitter, on Facebook..... struggling. Let them know they are not alone.
It's all about simply showing up. Being present in our own lives so that we may be present for others.
I'm present and I may damn well be afraid, but I am fearless. And so are you.
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