Reflecting on a Dream: Leadership Then and Now

Reflecting on a Dream: Leadership Then and Now As I reflect today, on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I am struck by the parallel of his leadership and what exists today. The genius of King’s leadership was not solely his inspirational speeches, or the symbolic marches and protests that we tend to be drawn to, but that he elevated our issues on a moral high ground. His platform was based upon our common humanity, compassion, basic fairness, religious sensibility, and sense of urgency to change the collective destiny of our people. Historically, change has always come from those who possessed a higher moral consciousness: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Fredrick Douglass, WEB Dubois, Malcom X, Ella Baker, and Ida B. Wells etc. It is people’s “heart condition” that needs to change. Morality has no race, but it does operate in a context. Changing heart conditions is what is needed but before we do that, we have to change and fix what has led to us feeling the way we do towards ourselves and others. The devastating vestiges of slavery, unequal civil rights, racism, violence, unemployment and more – are major contributors to why our pride for ourselves and culture have been adulterated. The good news is it’s not a lost cause. Even though people are conditioned to have a particular perspective that is not always beneficial for our collective well-being. If we consciously make a personal decision to open up our hearts and minds to loving ourselves, through self –knowledge, moral fortitude and will, we would not only redirect the trajectory of our lives and community, it would serve as a catalyst in changing the way we think about ourselves and our community. I know it may seem like a difficult task. It is ever more difficult when one’s culture and traditions have been destroyed. But, on this day, as I reflect upon the genius of Dr. King, clarity of mind and honest, unapologetic, fearless, non-politically correct, spiritually-based moral leadership that is willing to die for what is right, is what is needed. As we celebrate his birthday, our focus should be dedicated to emulating his moral leadership in a way that is reflective of the high moral standards rooted in the unwavering faith of our people. – This is my dream today! Much Love, Tim Goler

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