January 19th, Martin Luther King Day - A Holiday To Remember: Revisited
John Reddish has been writing an annual Martin Luther Kind Day Tribute for several years. This year is different. With the election of Barack Obama the next day...This year, I believe, Martin Luther King Day, January 19, 2009 represents the end of a beginning for our American Dream - an end to our violent birth and growth to adulthood as a nation, and an end to lip service paid to promises - still unfulfilled.
Copyright (c) 2009 John J Reddish
This year, 2009, is different: Martin Luther King Day, our American day of service, has, in many ways, been our quietest holiday. It was as if, growing in impact and acceptance, it was waiting for - something. Born of the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, it has been resisted by some and ignored by others, while being embraced without much fanfare over time as a holiday unlike any other. It is a day that invites us to give back through personal service, and more and more of us do so each year. You can now register projects and get updates on the holiday at: http://www.mlkday.gov/
But that's not this year's story, and the update I write annually just doesn't seem to be enough. This year, I believe, Martin Luther King Day, January 19, 2009 represents the end of a beginning for our American Dream - an end to our violent birth and growth to adulthood as a nation, and an end to lip service paid to promises - still unfulfilled. It is a day to consider possibilities and a day to prepare for a next day like no other.
It is my hope that January 20, 2009, and the inauguration of Barack Obama, will be recorded as the first day of America's full flowering, the day in which "Yes, we can," becomes true for all. And, "Yes, we will," represents our mantra going forward.
Surely, we are challenged. Our economy is a mess. A quiet panic grips us. Faith in many of our institutions, and ways of doing business, has been shaken, if not shattered. Yet, in many ways, we have put ourselves on hold since our last election - waiting - waiting for January 20th.
Lady Liberty stands tall in New York harbor, welcoming all who would embrace the American Dream. Her words of greeting (http://www.libertystatepark.com/emma.htm) will never change. Yet, we can impart to them a new vitality. We can use them to encourage us to make a renewed commitment to hope, to allow us to embrace each other with new eyes, blind to bigotry, and to revitalize us to eagerly pursue our possibilities. We can employ them to exhort all of us who were born here and all of us who come in through that "golden door," continue to enrich the Melting Pot we call America.
Our current challenges will take all of our ingenuity, all of our talents - talents honed here and talents recently come to our shores - considerable sacrifice and a new commitment to an evolving American Dream.
Celebrating Martin Luther King Day this year should be reminiscent of our New Year's Eve celebrations, substituting service to others for champagne toasts, getting ready for our new day to dawn. It is very much about, "Yes, WE CAN!"
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John Reddish works with and speaks to leaders who want to master growth, transition and succession, helping them to get results faster, less painfully and in ways that work for them. Author, speaker, consultant and mentor, John is a member of NSA. For booking and product information: http://www.getresults.com . Call 800.726.7985, internationally 01.610.388.9335, or at email@example.com.