Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in a number of different ways across our great nation. In many communities, MLK day is recognized as a National Day of Service where citizens stand shoulder to shoulder and work together to improve their neighborhoods and their lives. I lived for more than a decade in Memphis, the city where Dr. King was killed, and in Memphis MLK day is a day of reverence and reflection on the importance of the Civil Rights movement. In our nation’s capital, MLK day is celebrated in recognition of how far we have come as a country in terms of equal rights for all of our citizens.
Regardless of how Dr. King’s contributions to our society and to our country are recognized, it is so important that it is in fact recognized, because Dr. Martin Luther King was a remarkable man. What makes him remarkable is that he spoke out when others remained silent, he took action when others clung to the status quo, he took charge of his destiny and in doing so he inspired a Nation for generations to come.
That is the power of taking charge of your destiny, that is the power of doing and living with purpose—it not only changes the course of your own life, it inspires and motivates others. For me, that is the lesson of MLK day. It is the lesson that I am powerful, I can positively impact the direction of my life and in doing so I can influence others around me.
Taking charge of your destiny to change the course of your future can sound like such a big deal, like such a daunting task. But, you know what? It’s not, or at least, it doesn’t have to be. Taking charge of your destiny can be as simple as making the choice today to eat a little healthier and to exercise a little bit more. Taking charge of your destiny could be the decision to start or increase the amount that you are saving or making sure you have proper financial planning in place to help you work toward your dreams. Or, taking charge of your destiny could be the decision to enhance your skills related to your profession or a hobby. Just think how any one of these choices (or myriad of others) could positively impact your life and how the positive ripples could carry forward to your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and more. It’s a little bit exciting, isn’t it?