How Many People Are Better Off Because You Lived?
My mentor's coach was known for saying "Your success is measured by the number of people that are better off because you lived".
I always think about this.
Today is the day we, as a nation, celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s birthday. The reason we all know who he is, is because MLK had a deep and profound impact on generations of people. When he died, he left a lasting imprint and a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Through his sacrifice (The man risked everything, and ultimately, lost his life for a cause) millions of people's lives are better. Lasting change takes sacrifice. He believed it meant putting other's needs before his own, and deciding that he was willing to risk everything to ensure that his wife and children, and children's children were better off.
Many of the people that we look on as heroes today were actually controversial and maligned in their own time. When I was in high school, there was a group of kids in my neighborhood who celebrated MLK's death. Not his life, his death. They threw a party, every year, on the day he was assassinated. And they thought it was funny and clever.
Most of us think we can't ever make the type of impact he did, And so we don't even try. To risk others misunderstanding, or gossip... or hatred, stops us in our tracks. The thought of going against societies' norms leaves most of us with anxiety, fear and trepidation. It's a fear that denies us the abilities we all have within us to accomplish amazing things. To make an impact.
I am going to start by working on my self first. To fight the urge to be liked by everyone, and to go in the direction of my instincts. It's going to leave me vulnerable and open to judgment by others. And I'm gonna' start right now by saying... Bring It World.
In our history, those who have created change have, at one point in their lives, stood up and decided to be counted. To not be anonymous. To leave a legacy and an impact. They made the choice to ask themselves....
"How many people are better off because I lived"?