A created life...

Today is Martin Luther King's birthday. A man that forever changed the trajectory of our country, maybe the world. 

Every day I get the quote of the day from Values.com. If you don't, I highly recommend it. Today's quote "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be" by
Ralph Waldo Emerson, spoke to me, especially on this day, the celebration of MLK's birthday. How do  we decide who we are to be?

So many grow up believing in our "destiny" that we don't even realize that we are in charge. I wonder if young Martin Luther's parents had limited their son, what would be of our world now. Imagine if they had said the following, "Martin Luther, you need to keep your eyes down. Do not make eye contact with those white folks. Know your place, son." Instead, I imagine that there may have been a very different conversation, "Martin Luther, you are a special young man, you are going to make a difference in this world. You are strong and well spoken. You can decide the man you want to be."

Imagine if every child got this conversation from their parent (or loving adult in their life)...Imagine what this world could be, a place where every child believed that they were perfect and special in every way. Imagine the possibilities. It's almost overwhelming, isn't it? Each and every child, confident in their own ability to make their mark on the world. Each child striding into their own future, ready to take on challenges, looking at each challenge as a speed bump in their life rather than a roadblock.  Imagine how freeing that would be... 

In middle school and high school I was a basketball player. I was tall and had some skills, but most of all I had lots of fun.  My freshman year I played on a team with my friends and we had a great time. That was the year we did tons of traveling and had even more fun. Joan Jett blaring on the bus and a group of teenage girls singing at the tops of our lungs. It was a glorious time! What I didn't know is that  the coach saw something in me. The next year I was put on Varsity, away from my friends and with a group of Junior and Seniors. I practiced hard with the Varsity and started for the JV.  I played hard, but the fun was lost. Over time this thing that I loved was beginning to become a thing I hated. After much soul searching, I went to the coach and told him I wanted to practice and play JV, with my friends. I was crushed when he told me no. I was faced with a choice, continue or quit. I decided right then and there to quit this sport that I loved. This man, my coach, had so much power in my life. A different decision on his part could have changed my athletic trajectory. After that day, I didn't play organized sports for many, many years. The worst part? When I started teaching I had the opportunity to substitute at my high school. My old coach, this man who had so much power in my life, didn't even know who I was. He didn't remember me at all. This was a huge lesson for me. A few words could have changed everything...a choice he didn't make.

So that brings us back to the beginning. how do you see your impact on the world? Will you encourage others or turn a blind eye...we make this all powerful choice every moment of every day. Each and every one of us has the opportunity to influence others. If you want to take this on then make empowering others an important part of your agenda for your life. 

What is is that you choose? Do you choose to be a part of a world where you will be a  person who influences others or will you cower from this power and walk away? You never know how a word or gesture may impact another. 

More than anything, I want to be a part of a world of empowerment. I want to be part of this movement that teaches our children (and maybe even ourselves) that " Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself." So, let's empower and create, shall we?


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