As you know, Dr. King’s birthday was January 15th and like a lot of people, especially those of African-American ancestry, I’m thinking a lot this week about my life and the progress that has been made in our society not only because of his work, but the work and experiences of so many – my parents included. You see, my parents grew up in segregation. They know all too well what it is like to be denied some of the basic enjoyments we now take for granted. Despite that fact (or because of it), my parents raised me to be proud and to look at people for their inner Spirit, not their color. My father was the first in his family to attend college. I was the first on my mother’s side. No one ever told me I couldn’t drink at a certain water fountain or had to ride in a certain section on the bus. I took those things for granted. I attended a predominantly white high school where I led the cheerleading squad, various sports teams and was class President throughout my four years. I attended one of the best and most prestigious colleges in the country. My business life has been one of opportunity and success. I say all that not to brag on my accomplishments but to honor the history that created the space for me to do any of those things. When my father’s sister beams at me with pride when she enters my home, I am reminded of whence I came and how far I have come in my lifetime. Because of her, I stand taller. African-Americans are now CEO’s and captains of industry for some of the largest corporations in the world. We are doing things our parents and their parents could not have fathomed. Is there more work to do? Do inequities still exist? Absolutely. But today I choose to honor my mother and father, their mothers and fathers, Dr. Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks and all those who operated courageously to have my experience today be different, to have my opportunities by bountiful. I am humbled and I am grateful and as a coach, I invite you into the journey of possibility, a journey of greatness. Doors have been opened that once were closed. How do you choose to honor that legacy?
Click here to listen to the full version of Dr. King’s "I have a Dream" speech http://www.youtube.com/v/PbUtL_0vAJk&rel=1