Marking Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

15 01 2007

MLK
From Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Drum Major Instinct” Sermon, delivered February 4, 1968, Atlanta, Ga.:

If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness.

And this morning, the thing that I like about it: By giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.

Read the entire sermon here. Hear excerpts from it here.

And while I’m at it, this would be a very good day to reflect on your civil rights and civil liberties—both the ones you have and the ones you lack.

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