WORDS TO LIVE BY

Martin Luther King, Jr.
“tell them about the dream” Honoring MLK, and the inspiring way the most influential speech of the 20th century came about

 

The bravery and courage to tell the truth – to tap into ultimate truth – transforms us. The beloved activist and advocate for social justice, Martin Luther KingJr., had this ability to channel the right words, and will forever be remembered for how he did this so powerfully in his “I have a dream” speech for the March on Washington in 1963.

I think I knew that he wrote most of the script for this speech in the wee hours the night before, but when I read the book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant, I learned something amazing that I hadn’t known about him: that MLK had this flexibility about the whole thing, he was fluid until he stepped on the stage, and it was only when someone from the audience kept yelling out “tell them about the dream” that he decided to draw upon his experience, forego his planned script, and deliver his heart’s message instead – the one we didn’t know we asked for when someone called out “tell them about the dream” – the one the collective needed to hear, the pinnacle of his calling.

What a lesson in the power of knowing… trusting the unscripted (yet fully prepared) self, channeling this connection, precisely to arrive at your purpose.

There are many ways to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. To recognize injustice and racism today is to listen to communities that need help; to allow them to help define our role. To expand upon the movements of the past. To notice where we each could be doing more, and then do it.

 

Watch MLK’s “I Have a Dream”

 

Watch Originals author Adam Grant’s Ted Talks

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