Today, as we do every year, we celebrate and remember an incredible man, leader and believer in the good of the world. His name was Martin Luther King, Jr. and he was a great civil rights leader who dared to “dream”. He dreamed of a world with no hate. A world that believed character was more important than the color of skin. He believed in a world without violence. He stood for freedom and determination to find “the good” in all people. He experienced racism at a young age and decided it wasn’t good enough for him to stand by and watch it happen. He wanted to change the world by fighting segregation and fighting for equality. He lived his life doing just that and as a country we are better because of it.
Sadly, I don’t always see the world that Martin Luther King, Jr fought for. I think that after seeing such horrific events , for example what happened in Ferguson, MO, that we all need to re-evaluate what we stand for as Americans and how we treat one another. If you look back on what Martin Luther King, Jr. taught in his life, you just might gain a new perspective but I didn’t want to stop there.
As much as you may think the great Martin Luther King, Jr and Winnie the Pooh couldn’t be any different, I think they have some similarities in what they believed and wanted to teach the world.
Yes, one is a fictional character and the other was a real living, breathing human being, but they both gave us a perspective on how to live our lives with dignity and pride. They may be simple lessons for us but the impact these lessons have on us can transform our lives and the lives of future generations.
3) They taught us what it means to have confidence in ourselves and our abilities-
MLK: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
Winnie the Pooh: “You are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”
Lesson: In 1955, a woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat and going to the back of the bus. Little did she know she was being a leader and encouraging another leader in the civil rights movement to act. After that courageous act, Martin Luther King led a 13 month that helped end segregation on city buses. He kept “moving forward” even as he faced adversity. He was a true leader and defender of freedom for all. He also had confidence in himself which is the lesson Winnie the Pooh also wanted us to learn.
How can we apply this to our lives: Sometimes you may never know how brave you are until you step out of your comfort zone. You may not change the world, your city or even your neighborhood over night, but you can keep living and “moving” in a way that brings good into the world. Be the change you wish to see. You just might find that you are a leader after all.
2) They taught us that we should always have hope and faith-
MLK: “We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.”
Winnie the Pooh: “We shall get there someday.”
Lesson: Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dreams of hope with the world. In his most famous speech he started it with, “I have a dream…..” and he dared to dream in a big way. Hope fueled him. He never thought he would see the end of segregation in his lifetime. That dream was just too big but at the age of 35, he did. He never gave up. Winnie the Pooh also lived with hope for the future and love for his friends.
How can we apply this to our lives: Winnie the Pooh believed “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart” and sometimes those small things are glimpses of hope. Look around you everyday and look for the ways you can fuel your hope. Dream big and just when you think your dreams will never come true, lean on your friends just as Winnie the Pooh would and keep moving in ways that help you succeed in your dreams just as Martin Luther King, Jr. would.
#1 Lesson we can learn from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Winnie the Pooh is………….LOVE!
MLK: “Love is the most durable power in the world.”
Winnie the Pooh: “Some people care too much. I think it is called Love!”
Lesson: Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke often about love and how to treat others with respect. He believed that love-even love for our enemies- could end a country suffering with racism. Every protest he led was nonviolent and changed lives. In the same manner, Winnie the Pooh, believed in the power of love. Once when Piglet asked, “How do you spell love?” He answered, “You don’t spell it. You feel it.” I think he would also add, you share love too.
How can we apply it to our lives: Take time to love other people even when you feel they do not deserve it. Serve others and look for opportunities to do so. You will find that you feel a spirit of renewal and even more love for yourself. Use your energy to love yourself and more importantly to love others with respect and without prejudice.
Today, as we celebrate the life and teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. reflect upon his teachings and what he taught the world in his short life. There are people who set out to change the world and he is one of those people that leave a legacy of love, non violence and the hope of change. We can pass down these lessons to our kids, grand kids and change the next generation. If you are like me, you worry about the world around you and how it will affect the future generations. I think even as simple as these lessons are, we can apply them to our lives and teach them. The spirit of Martin Luther King is alive and well today but we need to focus on positivity and the hope of change.
As a child, you may have loved the cuddly, honey loving bear, Winnie the Pooh, but I believe the lessons he taught can go with us into adulthood. He noticed and loved the little things in life. He surrounded himself with friends and love. He may be fictional and a creation from the mind of A.A. Milne but his lessons can inspire us to be more loving, more caring and just like Martin Luther King, Jr. we can live with a spirit to change the world for the better.
I will leave you with the incredible words to live by from Martin Luther King, Jr.
Always remember to Create, Share and Inspire!