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Jan16
Martin Luther King's Leadership
In the year of my birth, Martin Luther King was designated by Time magazine as its Person of the Year. That was 1963, and less than five years before King’s life wasMLK Time cover.jpg tragically ended from a bullet of an assassin.

King’s image graces every page in the masthead of this blog because his life exemplified leadership. Although King was born January 15, 1929, we celebrate his life, his contribution to human rights and his leadership on the Monday after his birthday. A few months after he was named Person of the Year, he was named recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest laureate winner. He was one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century.

And like many of the greatest leaders of any time, he was not expected to lead but perhaps destined to lead. It was through the force of his character, vision and passion that enabled King to attract followers.

"The man whose word they [Negro leaders] seek is not a judge, or a lawyer, or a political strategist or a flaming orator. He is a scholarly, 28-year-old Negro Baptist minister, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who in little more than a year has risen from nowhere to become one of the nation's remarkable leaders of men."
                                    Feb. 18, 1957, Time Magazine

We should reflect on not only King’s contribution to human rights but how he empowered others to act and change the world.

As Jay Stephenson offered,

“Today should be a day that all Americans celebrate and honor the life and efforts of a true American hero, and put aside partisan differences…. King did not use the tactics of partisan hate, he called the Nation to a common dream.”
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King provided hope and a vision and a way to achieve that hope. He believed in people and the good of people. He believed that truth and light would win the day. His legacy should not be forgotten.

In his final speech, I've Been to the Mountaintop, King expressed his hope and confidence that we, as a people, can and will make the world better. Let’s follow Dr. King.

“He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

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