Yesterday, we all remembered a truly courageous and inspirational leader. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pastor and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the civil rights movement. In a dark period of our nation’s history, he fought past the struggle and declared, “The time is always right to do what is right”.
Dr. King stood by his belief and committed his life to the philosophy of nonviolent resistance. He presided over the Montgomery Bus Boycott – a thirteen month long protest against racial segregation on busses. The boycott publically and successfully challenged discrimination based on race, and in 1956, the federal district court ruled this segregation unconstitutional. Not only was the nonviolent protest effective, it also caught the attention of the entire country while bringing Dr. King to the forefront.
As resilient as Dr. King was, he unfortunately was not able to see his dedication come to life. On the evening of April 4 1968, Dr. King was shot from his balcony of the second floor of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee. But years earlier, he had stated, “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” Dr. King fought hard for what he believed in and left behind a legacy of determination, fearlessness and service. Just days after his assassination, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibited discrimination in housing scenarios. Dr. King’s dream was finally starting to become a reality.
In 1983, a federal holiday was created to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. The day is observed on the third Monday of January each year to reflect King’s birthday. This holiday encourages us, as American citizens, to live up to our potential by offering service towards others. We all have a desire to stretch ourselves, to serve others and to make this nation a better place to live, just as Dr. King did. Here at Far West Capital, we not only seize this opportunity as a time to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy, but also as a time to reflect on our core values. So, as this holiday comes and goes, continue to strive to unleash your giving potential. As Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others’?”
I encourage you to think about this question and determine how you are going to help others – not just on MLK Day – but every day.