Many of us will enjoy a day of rest and reflection from the hustle of a school day tomorrow, Monday 1/15/18, as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the legacy of peace and persistence with which he leaves us:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
With the New Year in full swing and reflecting upon Dr. King’s legacy, I wanted to share Rick Rigsby’s 10-minute speech where he delivers wonderfully powerful and poignant nuggets of truth in simple phrases based on his father’s teachings. Take a look at some of these thought-provoking phrases from another powerful African American orator, and take a listen to the speech in the below video. As you read below and view the video, think about our empathetic habit of the month, moral imagination, as well.
Which one of these four phrases from the speech most resonate with and for you?
- combine knowledge and wisdom to make an impact [knowledge isn’t enough]
- Mark Twain once said, “I’ve never allowed my schooling “to get in the way of my education.”
- Quoting Michelangelo, saying to us, “Boys, I won’t have a problem if you aim high and miss, but I’m gonna have a real issue if you aim low and hit.”
- Henry Ford saying, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Which one of these lessons/quotes from Rigsby’s father speak to a resolution you’d like to make for 2018?
- Son, you’d rather be an hour early than a minute late.
- Maybe one of my boys will catch me in the act of excellence. Aristotle said you are what you repeatedly do, therefore excellence ought to be a habit not an act.
- I know you’re tough but always remember to be kind.
- Make sure your servant’s towel is bigger than your ego. Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity.
- Pride is the burden of a foolish person.
- You wanna make an impact? Find your broom. Every day of your life, you find your broom. You grow your influence that way. That way you’re attracting people so that you can impact them.
- Telling myself every single day to shoot for the stars, to be the best that I can be. Good enough isn’t good enough if it can be better. And better isn’t good enough if it can be best.
- When you hit rock bottom remember this, while you’re struggling, rock bottom can also be a great foundation on which to build and on which to grow. I’m not worried that you’ll be successful. I’m worried that you won’t fail from time to time. A person that gets up off the canvas and keeps growing, that’s the person that will continue to grow their influence.
- Just stand. You keep standing. You keep standing. No matter how rough the sea, you keep standing. You keep standing. No matter what, you don’t give up.
- It doesn’t matter to me any longer how long I live. What matters to me most is how I live.
- I ask you all one question, a question that I was asked all my life by a third grade dropout. “How you livin’? Everyday ask yourself that question. “How you livin’?”
Now, have a listen to Rigsby’s 10-minute graduation speech “The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout.”