The Dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. Lives On in All of Us

Today we honor and remember Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who above all else, was governed by personal boundaries and values.

The Dream of Martin Luther King, Lincoln Memorial, Brad W. Smith photographer

Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

While Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed when I was too young to comprehend his significance, my parents taught me those same values.

I spent some time recently reading his famous quotes and was struck by how my own principles parallel his. I have codified my values in my own eight Life Amendments. I use this code of conduct to go forward in life assured I am adhering to my precious values.

If we are to go forward, we must go back

and rediscover those precious values – that

all reality hinges on moral foundations 

and that all reality has spiritual control.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

When I look at my Life Amendments, I see Martin Luther King, Jr’s influence on my life and see how his dream lives on.  His dream lives on in all of us through our actions and words.


The right to be treated with Respect

 When I define my boundaries, I communicate self-respect and self-love. I peacefully show others how they are to treat me.

A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


The right to Listen to others

When someone holds an opposing view I find it hard to listen openly. It’s far easier to perceive and interpret their words according to my own assumptions and biases. But I realize it is necessary if I am to continue expanding my view of the world.

 I refuse to accept the view that mankind

is so tragically bound to the starless midnight

of racism and war that the bright daybreak

of peace and brotherhood can never become

a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and

unconditional love will have the final word.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


The right to live life with Courage

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the will to take action in spite of fear. I realize sometimes I must keep going forward and do what needs to be done.

 The ultimate measure of a man is not

where he stands in moments of comfort

and convenience, but where he stands

at times of challenge and controversy.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


 The right to bring Commitment to everything I do

I show my commitment to an action or a value when I persevere in adversity. I do not quit when the going gets tough.

If a man hasn’t discovered something that

he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


The right to be Trustworthy in all of my relationships

My strongest relationships are built on the trust I have earned through my consistent and reliable words and actions.

 The quality, not the longevity,

of one’s life is what is important.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


The right to be Honest with myself and others

 I strive to be honest with myself and with others in all my actions and in all my words.

 A lie cannot live.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


The right to be Open to all thoughts and emotions

I can be open to others’ thoughts and actions without judgment, and choose to remain respectful when I engage with them.

 Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than

sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

~ Martin Luther King Jr.


The right to tell my own Truth.

I have the right to tell my own truth and to hear the truth as it is told by others. There is no single version of the truth, no bright line that shows us when we cross from truthdom into falsehood.

 Our lives begin to end the day we

become silent about things that matter.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Live Honest, Open and True

Which values of Martin Luther King, Jr. live on in you? Are you keeping his dream alive? Take a few minutes this week to think about how your words and actions show your values to others.

Do you understand the connection between your values and your boundaries? Stop by our  Life is HOT blog Facebook Group and leave a comment or tweet me @LifeIsHOTBlog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!

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Related Posts: My 8 Life Amendments

You Talkin’ to Me?

It’s the Morning After: What Have We Done?

Do You Live in Courage?

Do You Have What It Takes?

How to Be Trustworthy

Honest as Abe Lincoln

Is it time to Open a New Book in Your Life?

There Is No Single Version of the Truth
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