Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Some Thoughts on Finding One’s Purpose

“I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

On Dr. King’s birthday, I think that we should certainly remember that this man stood by his principles and put himself in harm’s way. He believed that we all should have something that we feel so strongly about that we would be willing to perish for it. Our culture celebrates those individuals that pay the ultimate price for their principles. We call them heroes.

I contend that we should also strive to find something that we would live for and for which we can devote ourselves on a daily basis, even if it isn’t a life or death matter. It doesn’t have to be just one “something.” It could be a number of “somethings.” The important thing is that we have something to serve as a guide for our decisions. It is so easy to just scrape by and live one’s life year after year without reflecting on the things that are important to us. It is too easy to live other people’s dreams for us instead of our own if we don’t take the time to consider what we are meant to do. That is a recipe for regrets. But if we live the life that we are called to live, I think we are more likely to adhere to the sentiment espoused in another quote by Dr. King.

“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

If you haven’t thought about your purpose and the thing or things that are important to you, there is no better day than today to start.

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