Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles. Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. …And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” – From Martin Luther King Jr.’s autobiography
The world watches and celebrates the life and legacy of one of the greatest advocates for justice, peace, equality, worker’s rights, love, and courage. It’s important to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. not only as an iconic leader who united millions in a peaceful push for civil rights, but one whose life showed that visionary leadership requires unrelenting courage. The courage of a King’s life and activism exemplified the power of speaking truth to injustice and standing up to oppressive systems.
Through Dr. King’s leadership, he reminded us that with courage comes great responsibility; a responsibility to do what is right despite fear or opposition. Dr. King’s courage acts as an example of how every individual can take action to make a difference. Rev. King mobilized people everywhere in their fight against inequality and oppression without resorting to violence or aggression – demonstrating that courage doesn’t need to be loud or aggressive to achieve its goals – it just needs determined hearts willing to speak up and make positive change. Yes, I recognize that many would disagree that courage does not need to be loud or aggressive. His example highlights the importance of standing together even amidst immense struggles in order to make a real difference in social change.
Dr. King left behind what many consider an inspiring model for demonstrating true moral leadership–Courage Like A King. We must imbed that model lesson of courage in our hearts today if our society is going to keep pressing and moving forward towards creating greater equality throughout our communities like Dr. Martin’s vision set out forth nearly 60 years ago.
While his actions made a powerful impact on society, taking a stand for what is right often requires more than physical courage—it requires moral courage and God-given courage. In today’s world, taking a stand can be difficult amid so much controversy, racism, and chaos.
The courage of a Dr. King is a timeless example of courage in the face of adversity. He stood up for what was right, even when faced with death threats, social and political pressure, and immense public criticism. His courage allowed him to make a difference not only for Blacks and minorities but also for society and humanity.
What small acts of courage can you challenge yourself to do?
What Gives Us Courage?
Courage is defined as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear” (Dictionary). Courage does not mean the absence of fear, but moving forward despite fear. It comes from having faith in God and yourself and your convictions even when faced with great opposition.
Courage comes from within; it takes strength to be brave enough to speak up for what’s right even when it’s not popular or comfortable to do so. We have seen the evil January 6 attack on the White House and the challenge to overturn the 2020 presidential election. President Joe Biden will award medals to a dozen people who “demonstrated courage and selflessness during a moment of peril for our nation,” according to a White House official. He will award those who protected The White House during the January 6 attack and those who withstood the pressure to declare the 2020 presidential election fraudulent despite threats and armed protesters. Among those to be awarded is Jocelyn Benson, the Michigan Secretary of State who faced armed protesters outside her home when she resisted pressure over election results.
It is this kind of bravery that has inspired countless others throughout history to take a stand against injustice no matter what odds they were faced with.
It is an important time to reflect on what gives each of us the courage to take our own stand or make our own small contribution.
What Choices Do You Need To Make?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a unique courage – one that was driven by his moral, social, and spiritual beliefs and faith in God. He stood up for what he felt was right, even in the face of adversity, death threats, and intense social and political pressure.
It takes strength to be brave enough to speak up for what’s right even when it’s not popular or comfortable to do so. King upheld his authentic values of Christian faith and loyalty to America, although greeted with hatred, death threats, physical assaults, illegal arrest, unjust and false accusations, and ultimately his assassination.
Rev. King wanted to make a difference in the lives of not only minorities but also for all people. How can we use the lesson from the courage of a King today?
Having the courage to stand up for what you believe in does not happen overnight; it takes time, faith in God and His Word and determination to build that level of bravery within yourself. It starts with making conscious choices in your life—from your personal life to your business decisions and your dreams—to confront any fear you might have about speaking up or taking action. Making these kinds of choices will help you build your own moral courage so you can take meaningful steps towards making a difference, no matter how small those steps may seem at first.
It is easy for people to sit back and be complacent when something wrong is happening around them – but real courage means taking action despite your fears. This could be anything from writing letters or emails expressing your opinion on topics you feel passionate about, engaging in conversations with people who think differently than you do, joining protests or campaigns you believe in, donating money or resources towards causes you support, etc.. The possibilities are endless!
To truly honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we must strive every day to embody his courage by standing up for what we know is right no matter how hard it may seem at times. We need more people who will take courageous steps towards progress instead of standing idly by while others suffer injustices.
So ask yourself today – what can I do? What choices am I willing make so I can have the courage like a King? Take Courage! Make change! Love justice! Act now! If each one of us takes even just one small step forward together, we can create an unstoppable wave of progress around us! Let’s do this! #CouragelikeaKing #MLKDay2023 #BeTheChangeYouWishToSeeInTheWorld #LoveJusticeActNow #TakeCourageMakeChange #SmallStepsBigChange #MLKLegacyLivesOn.
Linda Fegins, “The Courage Catalyst” copyright2023 firstname.lastname@example.org lindafegins.com