On this day, that we honor the legacy of a man who stood for peace and for what was right, I am also reminded of all the sacrifices that were made not only by Dr. King, but also by the many men and women of the Civil Rights Movement. People such as, John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, Rosa Parks, Ralph D. Abernathy, Diane Nash and Dr. C.T. Vivian, just to name a few. Many of these young men and women made a conscious choice to stand against what was wrong even if it meant risking physical harm or even faced with death. Can you imagine the type of courage that it took? Dr. King is quoted as saying that, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." This resonates with me, as being a very poignant and thought provoking question given the racial climate that we live in today. This is also a question for our everyday lives. I myself, am challenged on a daily basis and how I choose to respond in the face of those challenges, can make all the difference with regards to walking in peace or in constant turmoil.
Evidence of just how this challenge was faced, can be seen played out in real life, during the Civil Rights Movement. Just this past weekend, I had the pleasure of viewing the movie "Selma" that was inspired by and based on the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights, which is known as a pivotal and emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement. The three marches that took place, in an effort to gain the right to vote for Black Americans, is a powerful testimony in which the challenges of hatred were met with PEACE! Although, there were moments that were difficult and upsetting to watch, I found the movie to be enlightening as well as educational. I must applaud the writers and the especially the director, Ava DuVernay, for her vision, but more importantly for her courage to present, the sometimes ugly truth about the journey and the struggle, that eventually led to the passing of the Voters Right Act of 1965.
What I also loved about the movie, that it pointed out the human side of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his personal and emotional struggles. What do I mean? Well, I am not disputing the fact, that Dr. King is one of the greatest moral leaders of our time, however, we often times forget that he was a man with the same imperfections that we all struggle with from time to time. He was a man that wanted to do God's will but needed God's help to do it. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of emotional and personal struggles that he and his family had to endure, all in the name of justice and freedom.
This movie also educated us, about some of the other key players or unsung heroes in the struggle, that were instrumental in bringing about change along side of Dr. King. It solidified in my mind, that had it not been for many of these men and women of courage, and their willingness to stand side by side with Dr. King, many of the rights and freedoms that we have come to often take for granted today, would not have come to pass. One of those individuals, portrayed in the movie, is Civil Rights Living Legend, Dr. C.T. Vivian. In early 2013, my partners and I, had the distinct honor and pleasure of meeting and interviewing Dr. Vivian in his Atlanta home. It is a moment that I will not forget! I can not begin to tell you how profound and sharp (not to mention handsome) he is! His spirit exudes a type of peace that can't be explained in words. I did my best to soak up the knowledge and wisdom that he shared with me during the interview. So just imagine how humbled I felt, when Dr. Vivian complimented me on the creation of "There is Life After Layoff" and the fact that it is a much needed forum! All glory goes to God, which is what I shared with Dr. Vivian, for trusting me with the vision. Nonetheless, Dr. Vivian's kind words of encouragement also gave me an extra boost of confidence in knowing that I too have a responsibility. That responsibility is to choose to live a life of "Peace" even in the face of adversity and challenge while fulfilling my destiny by inspiring others to discover and walk in their purpose!
Thank you for your sacrifices!
First and foremost, my sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Stuart Scott, who succumbed this morning (1/4/15) to the disease of cancer. Many of you may know him best as the ever vocal ESPN Sports Anchor with the gift for spinning the vernacular. But, he was so much more than that. His life was a shining example of what it meant to truly persevere.
Just recently he was awarded with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPYS this past year, where he referenced a 1993 speech given by Jimmy Valvano, that urged others to "Never Give Up!" This took on a whole new meaning after Mr. Scott explained that he had just spent several days in the hospital in which he had endured several surgeries, kidney failure and numerous other issues, yet because of his will to fight, and never give up,he was able to stand and accept his award. Talk about perseverance!
Having lost my mother to lung cancer at the young age of 57, I know all too well how it feels to loose a parent to this deadly disease. My mother was one of those people who never gave up and was determined to have "quality of life" as long as she remained on this earth. Because of her will to live, she out-lived the prognosis that the doctors had originally given her by several years. It is my belief that because she had such a strong will to live, she was able to fight and persevere through even the toughest of life threatening circumstances.
"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live." -Stuart Scott
So the next time you are faced with life's challenges, and you feel like giving up, DON'T! It's during the journey that you grow and learn the most. Think about the people who love and care about you and who are depending on you to push your way through. "Thank you" Mr. Scott for setting such a good example and for living in a manner that will serve as a constant reminder of what it truly means to persevere even in the face of the worst of circumstances. Thank you for setting the bar high. RIP Mr. Scott.
Wife and mother of two, pursuing my life purpose after getting laid off! Read more on my About Me page.
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