“ I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
If you aren’t familiar with the above quote, it was spoken by Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28th, 1963. Those infamous words were spoken at a time when racism was still very much a problem in the US and around the world. So much has changed in the 50+ years since. Things have definitely gotten better, but they are far from perfect.
So why do I bring up this quote… I bring it up because, I like to think that we as a people, as a society can do better. I think we have it within ourselves to be better to one another. I think it takes some work though… The amount of work can be as little as you want or as much as you want…. but, in reality it isn’t that difficult.
Ever heard of Random Acts of Kindness ? If you haven’t, then go read up on it. An act of kindness doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a dollar cost associated to it. It may cost a bit of your time. Maybe even a bit of time in thought. But really how hard is that ?
Sometimes it just takes a bit of situational awareness. Recently a flight I was on was diverted from it’s original destination due to bad weather. Having no idea on what was going to happen next, but I knew that I could utilize my extensive travel history and a belief that I’ll land on my feet regardless. I thought that by the time I got off the plane, and due to the severity of the storm, I figured that I would be spending the night where I was. I also knew that getting out the next morning might be problematic. Calling to rebook a flight was met with busy signals, and airport staff were swamped. I noticed a few people from my flight and helped them out where I could. I realized that I was there for the night and I may as well start calling for a hotel room. As I was on the phone with a few of the hotels, I had eventually found one that had availability. I turned to one of my fellow passengers and asked if he would like me to reserve a room for him as well. He very happily agreed.
Was what I did a kind gesture? I like to think it was. I didn’t have to pay for his hotel room, I just had to ask the hotel on the other end of the phone to hold two rooms instead of one. Pretty simple huh ? Really, it’s that easy to be kind and to help to someone else. “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others…” says the Dalia Lama. You don’t have to give the shirt off your back to help someone, although that would be a very noble gesture.
I have a dream… I think living in a society where people are kind and respectful to others would be fantastic. I think that this is one part of what MLK meant by “The content of their character”
What is the content of your character ?