What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Say?

In fifty years since his death it would seem;
He’d have comments on the state of his dream.
What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say,
If he were present and alive today?
There would be many issues to address;
Economics, education and yes
The moral status of our nation,
Healthcare, poverty and race relations.

He would talk to the young and walk among
The youth to inspire with word or song;
To gain their perspective on what is wrong;
To uplift their spirits and make them strong.
Non-violence would be his priority,
When questioning unjust authority.
From his past, it’s easy to speculate,
His views on love and his stance on hate.

So, listen to pundits, as they surmise
How this world would look through the dreamer’s eyes.
Where there’s injustice, he’d want it to stop.
This visionary from the mountain top;
This leader who has seen the promised land;
Would staunchly advocate a moral stand.
He would commend progress, but not ignore,
The obligation to do much and more.

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. say
If he were present and alive today?
He’d smile to see we had a president
Of African American descent;
But the prison industrial complex grew,
As a wellspring for local revenue,
And we destabilized communities,
By shipping their industries overseas.

Divisive feelings on integration;
Polarized factions on immigration;
Forgot the historical manuscript;
Enmity to the poor and a new script
Where faith does not compel us to embrace
Specific members of the human race;
Face our neighbors with equality;
Reality and not mythology.

How would human trafficking break his heart,
As racial injustice tears us apart;
Bondage, child predators and kidnapping,
The violence in the neighborhoods sapping
Our strength; more violence, more eulogies,
More hatred leads to more casualties,
And we exist in a reality,
Without censorship and morality. 

What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say,
If he were present and alive today?
He would note knowledge proliferation;
Yet, many minds turn from education,
While he would acknowledge improvements made;
It would sadden him that we are afraid
Of each other at an alarming rate,
As many are training their hearts to hate.

He would weigh in on the raucous debate
On flags and logos as symbols of hate;
Atrocities done in religion’s name;
People have abandoned conscience and shame.
We live in a world where anything goes;
Morality changes, as the wind blows,
But there’s evidence the dream is alive;
As long as there is hope we will still strive.

The marches for voter registration
Have been nullified with legislation,
As newer barriers are put in place,
That claim to have nothing to do with race.
But they are designed to restrict he vote;
When he was in prison the words he wrote
To reach us and beseech us from the jail;
So that we as a nation would not fail.

What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say,
If he were present and alive today?
Systemic problems would be called to bear 
And through word and action he would declare;
“Injustice if it is found anywhere,
Is a threat to justice everywhere.”1
Leadership with love will help us broker 
Excellence over the mediocre.

We have made progress in treating disease,
But I’m sure Dr. King would not be pleased,
“Of all the forms of inequality,”
He once stated without apology,
“Injustice in healthcare is the most shocking
And inhumane.”2 
But forces are blocking
Character and not the color of skin
From being part of our discipline.

In equal rights, we have made strides,
But bias and injustice still reside:
We should have traveled much further along;
In fighting for rights and righting the wrongs.
The notion, that times are not as they were
Is shattered by a racial slur; 
Proximity to how it used to be,
Should stop us short of claiming victory.

1	Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
2	Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in a speech to the Medical Committee for Human Rights, 1966

Copyright © 2015 Orlando Ceaser

Achieve the dream – Unlock your leadership greatness

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was as a civil rights leader. He was an activist who had a powerful transformative dream, which galvanized a movement and a nation toward positive change. Each year on the anniversary of his birth I listen to a recording of his greatest speeches. During his “I have a dream” speech, I clearly see the role that everyone can play. Dr. King emphasized a compelling vision of the future which will require leadership at many levels in society, to bring it into fruition.

A leader is characterized as someone who has a vision for the future which excites people to the extent that they want to be a part of the new reality. Dr. King in his speeches and his actions, challenged us in at least four areas. He wanted us to achieve excellence, focus on economics and equality, as well as improve our circumstances and relationships, through education and nonviolence.

Dr. King’s dream should be placed in the context of a vision for a better nation and a better world. We will achieve this dream and many others through leadership. We therefore, must play a major role in develop strategies and plans to reach lofty objectives. We must unlock our leadership greatness, in order to make the dream a reality.
I have determined at least 10 attributes which would be instrumental in helping us to unlock our leadership greatness, to achieve the dream. I will address six of them in this blog. The entire 10 will be present in my new book “Unlock your leadership greatness.”

• Powered by a dream
• Student of the game
• Set high standards
• Lead by example
• Make others better
• Serve others

Powered by a dream

You must be powered by a dream, which gives you direction and a destination. I have already mentioned the importance of the dream and what this vision could do to energize people. The dream gives us purpose and passion and a strong reason to succeed.

Student of the game

We have to be students of the game, to gain a better understanding of the rules and regulations, as well as the instructions on how to live and relate to people who are different from us. When we understand the game, we increase our self-awareness and knowledge of people and their differences and similarities. When we act like a student, we are inquisitive and continuous learners, always focusing on education. We realize that education is internal and therefore, it is something that people cannot take away from us. Education is something that allows us to qualify for opportunities and if these opportunities are not granted, we have the knowledge and wisdom to make a case for demanding equality and justice.

Sets high standards

When we unlock our leadership greatness, we set high standards because we recognize the value of setting a high bar to push ourselves to unbelievable heights of achievement. We will not tolerate something that is less than what we believe we are entitled. The high standards will cause us to reach higher and prepare better. The high standards will demand us to act in a way consistent with our self-image.

Lead by example

We understand the value of image. We know that reputation is a powerful motivator. When we lead by example, others will follow us and hold us accountable to ensure that our actions are in alignment with our vocabulary. When we lead by example we have the power and capacity to attract others to our leadership. We will recruit people one by one in our passionate pursuit to improve the world.

Make others better

Through our actions we engage in activities where we received a personal benefit. Customarily, we asked the question, “What’s in it for me?” The personal benefit is a driver for our behavior. Individuals, who operate at a higher level, realize that if they make others better, they will receive a benefit in the short-term or somewhere down the road. The benefits are not the reason for their actions, but are coincidentally, a byproduct of their generosity. Dr. King and his leadership, was known for mentoring young men and women. He practiced the art of making others better. If we are good in a certain skill area (subject) and have a neighbor who is not, we are to help them become better. They need to get to a competency level which will allow them to be successful. If they are good in the area where we are deficient, we need to be open and receptive to their instruction. There is strength in numbers and we should never try to tackle difficult situations on our own. When we make others better, at some point in our lives, we will receive appreciation to enhance our situation.

Serve others

We recognize that we are not here solely for our own purpose. When we were children, there were two axioms that were emphasized with regularity. The first is the golden rule. We should do unto others as we want them to do unto us. Secondly, we were told to walk a mile in someone’s shoes, to get a better understanding of their character and the circumstances that shaped them. When we unlock our leadership greatness, we are immersed in a desire to serve others. We have learned the power of humility and being connected in an inter-dependent manner to those around us.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. placed a major emphasis on economics, excellence, equality and education. These areas would be highlighted in the achievement of his dream. One of the catalysts to making his dream a reality are individuals committed to his dream who have unlocked their leadership greatness.

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser