By: Heather Blanchard
|“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.|
I love reading biographies about people who changed the world, and am inspired by great leaders and crusaders of peace. Last week we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., so I paused to reflect on the importance of service in both big ways and small.
There are so many famous people who left this world in a better place and dedicated their lives to the greater good. People like Harriet Tubman, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, and certainly Martin Luther King come top of mind. And there are people today who continue their crusades like Malala Yousafzai, Amanda Gorman and Kristen Clarke. I’ll share one of my favorite quotes here as it is something these crusaders all have in common:
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of these depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
It amazes me how these leaders kept going no matter what they were faced with, and how they kept picking up the pieces after great losses and defeat and plowed forward with great courage and passion. Their success and determination reminds me of a Japanese art called Kintsukuroi, which repairs pieces of broken pottery by mending them back together with gold dusted lacquer. And when those pieces are finished, they are more beautiful and whole than ever before. Great leaders learn and grow from challenging setbacks and keep moving forward on their path. So can we. Every time we fall down and get back up, we gain something valuable to share with others, and gain insight for our own lives. We too, become more vibrant and whole than ever before.
As we honor the beautiful life and tireless work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., let us remember the importance of freedom, equality, justice and love for all. Let us pause to ask ourselves:
– What causes speak to me?
– What gifts do I have that can help others?
– How can I contribute to causes that are near and dear to my heart?
Service starts simply in our homes and neighborhoods, by sharing our values, morals and giving back to those around us; and can extend outwards from there to organizations and movements. The ripple effects of contributing to causes of passion or serving those in need can go on forever. And we all have something beautiful and valuable to share.
May all beings everywhere exude peace, compassion and goodwill each and every day. ~ Namaste, Heather