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What Dr MLK Means to Me by Erika Jackson
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL people are created equal.
The declaration of independence states that if people are being ruled or governed by someone and that someone is not operating in the best interests of the people, the people have a right to fight against that government.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did just that. He fought against a government that insisted that minorities in this country were not equal. As a result, for the first time in history, a Black man has taken the oath of office as President of the United States.
What Martin Luther King, Jr. means to me is the right to equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What he also means to me is a responsibility to stand for that right. Even if it's not realized in our lifetime, we are obligated to pave the way for our children and their children.
It wasn't too long ago that White people were complaining about the minorities taking all their jobs. Now the minorities are complaining about foreigners coming over and taking all their jobs. What is that? It can't all be someone else's fault or responsibility. At some point, we each have to make a stand for what we believe is right, just as Dr. King did.
We have to stand for equality - equality in our education. The nation opened up the opportunity for charter schools to come in and do a better job than our public schools. What did we do? We settled for what the public schools offered because it took too much effort to support and send our kids to charter schools.
We have to stand for liberty - liberty in our daily activities. We have the freedom to do and become whatever we believe we were created to do or be. What do we choose? We choose to be average. Every day we see reports of job losses and high unemployment rates. This is not the image of liberty the founding fathers had in mind.
Happiness. That means something different for everyone. Yet, how many of us actually pursue legitimate happiness? Some try to find it in drugs, sex, alcohol. How happy can it be if it comes at someone else's expense? That happiness must come from the inside. It comes from worthwhile endeavors that pave the way for future generations.
Dr. King had a dream that all people in this country would be equal, truly equal, as our Declaration of Independence states. It is our responsibility to keep that dream alive by pursuing equality, liberty, and happiness so our children can have something to look forward to. It's is not solely Barack Obama's responsibility. The responsibility falls on all of us.
Erika Jackson is COO of Empowerment Coaches, LLC, and CEO and Coaching Team Leader for Turnaround Coaching, Inc. Empowerment Coaches are trainers of the Happiness Generator workshop, the official workshop for Marci Shimoff's New York Times bestseller Happy for No Reason. The driving focus for Turnaround Coaching is "Opportunity Chooses the Prepared!" The coaches at Turnaround Coaching work to help individuals and small businesses meet opportunities head on.