Tomorrow marks the 43rd year since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His living legacy leads us to consider how to best consider what he would be the messianic message of Dr. King today given social and political upheavals and perpetual need to re-examine real and perceived strides over the last 40 years.
As the youth-based phrase goes today, this reflection presents us with an opportunity to ask the question: What would Martin Do? Dr. King’s death has been an actual and symbolic opportunity for us to continuously reassess our beliefs.
If nothing else, we have to ponder what and how the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would react. Here are some ways to examine what might be some contemporary considerations if he were alive today.
1. King’s death is an opportunity for training and action to sharpen leadership skills.
2. Without Dr. King at the heart of civic engagement, there should be a greater sense of urgency and willingness to act creatively.
3. Dr. King’s legacy is a chance for leaders and followers to build alliances and create teams to further implement civil and human rights.
4. When Dr. King left us, it begs the question about nurturing and training others to train and shadow us in preparation to one day replace us, as needed.
5. Transforming challenges into opportunities and legacy-minded thinking was a trademark of Dr. King’s efforts that should be emulated.
6. Dr. King challenged church and community leaders of the day to do more and to tackle tough social issues head on.
7. Given King’s beloved community, our groups and leaders should align themselves accordingly to do more and act expeditiously.
If action is taken now, we can make great strides to do more and step up the legacy Dr. King left. That way we will not look back 40 years from now and wonder yet another interesting question: What did we do?
-Dawn McCoy, author of Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success