Capable of more

This Monday, we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Shortly before his assassination in April 1968, Dr. King told a group of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee: “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end.”

Since then, we’ve seen huge changes, but we still silently suffer from our perceived differences. I want to take a few minutes to appreciate the progress we’ve made as a country. Regardless of our hardships and how far we’ve yet to travel, let us be grateful and appreciate the sacrifices that have been made, and leaders that have helped us become the people we are today.

Allow your heart to lead and find your voice to fight for what is just and right in the world.

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. ~ Theodore Parker and quoted often by Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of Dr. King, his voice for equality and a movement where signs proclaimed “I Am a Man”, consider doing this fill in the blanks exercise (with yourself or with others.)

I AM ______.

I CAN’T ______.

I CAN ______.

Here’s an example:

a woman, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, a leader, a girl scout leader, an optimist, an idealist, a passionate person, a reader, a writer, a speaker, a lover of life, a learner of new things and blessed.

climb a mountain, make my children choose what I want for them, control everything, worry about the future, drive backwards very well, golf, live forever, remember what I had for breakfast on 9/11.

climb a short mountain that doesn’t give me altitude sickness, swim in the ocean without fear of sharks, advise my children and hope for the best, trust even when I am not in control, dream about the future, live the best life possible, remember what I was doing when I watched 9/11 happen, make a difference in the world, do anything I set my heart and mind on achieving, fight for those without a voice.

Credit for this exercise goes to Jon Isham, a professor at Middlebury College, an Opportunity Collaboration delegate and my moderator for the 2015 @OppColl Colloquium. I learned a lot from this exercise, but instead of sharing those insights in depth now, I’ll leave that for each of you to discover on your own. However, I’m happy to delve into discussions on the topic. In short, I found I am capable of more than I first thought.

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