King abandoned his script and his agenda after Mahalia Jackson, a famous gospel singer, who was in the audience, shouted, “Tell them about the dream Martin.”
Reverend King was visibly more comfortable without the safety net of his pre-written speech. The civil rights leader merged his intellect with his passion and delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history. His words moved me. And, the conviction in his delivery was powerful and remarkable. The man knew how to speak and captivate an audience. WOW! That’s all I can say.
From the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial, King addressed a crowd of over 250,000 people, the single largest gathering/protest in D.C. to that date. He did something great! However, King needed people to take action. He alone, could not affect racial equality changes in Washington or the rest of the nation. He motivated and inspired people across the nation and across the world to non-violently fight for their rights. He did something great! King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and was later assasinated in 1968.
I am no Martin Luther King. But, I have a dream. I have a dream of making a difference in this world. I dream of captivating an audience. My platform is not The Mall in Washington D.C. My platform is this fledgling blog with a handful of mailing list subscribers and a few faithful followers. There may be others who pay attention, from the outskirts, in the comfort of anonymity. I’m okay with that.
“Peter, only you could get my kids to read. They have been at it most of the day…WOW another one has completed a book without being made to… they did it on their own… Do you have any other books up your sleeve?” Why is this simple feedback such a great compliment to me?
The notes were from a widowed mother about her children. They were reading my book, about their family. They were reading my experience as a Volunteer Coordinator for the project which built them a new home.
For a few hours, the children took time away from being a kid, to show an interest in something I wrote. And they liked it. They read the entire book. I had a small captive audience.
As Mother Theresa once said, “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
I made a difference to a mother and to her children. Even if only for a few hours, I had an impact, on one family. A small effect accomplished with great love.
We can all do small things with great love. We can lend a generator and bring water to a friend during a hurricane. We can donate a used winter coat to a coat drive. We can help a stranger look for their lost dog. We can go to a church’s “free” pancake breakfast, although we are not parishoners, and leave a donation. We can donate blood to the Red Cross.
We don’t have to be world leaders, or bestsellers, or rock stars to find our voices and to inspire people to make changes, to get off their butts, and make a difference in this world. We simply need to have a desire to help one person, one family, one community. Collectively, we can stand together and take action to create positive changes in this world.
What is your dream? Who is your audience? What do you want to accomplish? What differences do you want to make?
Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.