“A soul generated by Service.”

Service: the action of helping or doing work for someone. Assistance or advice given to customers during and after the sale of goods. The reason we refer to King is because he stood out among the rest. Martin Luther King Jr. was no stranger of how powerful serving was. He knew communities were healthier and stronger bringing people together with the “Act” of serving others as he broke down barriers and forged a new understanding. The emotional experience of choosing peace over hate is one that he passionately attempted to teach by example. He was not only mission driven he was community driven. Not just any community, the communities where he lived and worked. He inspired the next generation through his strength and passion. Making a difference is so important. King understood this. He made it easier for others to participate in their communities and give them a sense of pride and safety where they dwelled. It was important to him to treat everyone with respect and dignity, regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity or any other parameters. He hoped for a world where everyone was treated equally and with compassion and did so by providing excellent customer service to those in front of him both at home and work. None of us are perfect and we all fall short. However, Martin aspired to be a leader, and knew that having great morals and values were the key to being successful. We must consider the time in which he lived and what was consider acceptable in his day, noting that today is much different. Many of us are a product of the past, but we too are not the same person we were even ten years ago. He was the right man at the right time to face the American Civil Rights’ Movement. King was a prominent civil rights activist and leader in the American Civil Rights movement. He is known for his non-violent approach against racial discrimination and segregation. His teachings can be applied to various aspects of life, including customer service. By treating everyone with respect and dignity, and by creating a positive and inclusive environment that promoted equality and justice was a principle he displayed frequently. There are so many aspects that we can learn from the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The passion in which he lived and the barriers that he broke down. Individually we do not have to follow the status quo. Like King we can stand tall and walk by the faith that no one can see. Faith in ourselves and in a higher power. So often we question the little voices in our hearts, but they are the voice of higher purpose. Fear didn’t control King as he broke down the barriers, and if there was fear, he did not give it a place in his mission or his passion. He understood the equity of relationships and how to build them to further his dream. Imagine with me, knowing that in many circles where he was hated for his voice of opposition for the views that were being rejected. His supernatural ability to not back down and to forge ahead gave hope to others who joined him in this movement. It is not much different in today’s world. The voices of opposition are everywhere and against so many that it is difficult to navigate what is politically correct. However, is it a great time to, Like King to bring peace to our own communities and use a non-violent method to inspire others to walk in peace and tranquility. His death while overshadowed by hate, spoke louder than any words could. His death caused an outrage, but for those that knew him best and had the complete understanding of his mission and purpose in life knew that he was not killed in vain. Through their grief they knew his death would take his message to new heights and the injustice of what had happened would not go un-noticed by the people who followed him and the leaders he inspired. Even more than fifty-five years ago, his message still lives on. His impact and passion for civil rights was picked up by many and carried on through those that believed in him. His legacy is one that we all only hope to accomplish in our own lives. His dream is still alive in the heart of many of those that still believe in his vision for a perfect life for all of mankind. We must all hope and dream for what we are called to do according to our inner selves. Much like Martin, acting on what we know to be true and fighting the good fight in order to have a more fulfilled life. Just like Marting, we are in control of our happily ever after and only we can set the course and not quit on ourselves or our dreams no matter what the cost would be. Words matter! Everything that comes out of our mouths, and the tone in which they are accompanied set a standard of impression that are not easily changed or altered. These are even harder to express on paper the way we intend for them to be. Making sure that we are always mindful of how what we are expressing is being interpreted is critical to our success. We can all come up with a example of when someone said something or wrote something that left us with those feeling that were gut wrenching. I’m sure there were moments in Mr. King’s life that left him feeling this way. However, I can’t imagine that he let them change his direction, they could only push him onward to continuing to find that dream he always had.

Walking the walk

Mid-summer in 2011 I was faced with an experience that one rarely prepares for. I received a call from a friend who worked at the main hospital in our area because a good friend of mine was met with a very difficult situation and needed help. The details surfaced and when I found her, she was sitting in the company of her second oldest daughter who was in a car accident. She was stroking the leg of her daughter’s body, whose life was taken as the vehicle she was driving flipped over onto her ejected body. The outward beauty was turned to a color and disproportioned body that I had ever experienced. I eased myself gently beside my friend and whispered in her ear “How ya doing?” I really didn’t know what to say, so I was just trying to sum up how she was holding up. She was in shock. She was absorbing what had happened and feeling the sudden loss of her child. An experience I never wish for any parent. I asked her if I could pray at that moment for her and for what was to come in the days ahead. She responded yes with a nod of her head. God gave me the words. I had not planned out a script for this, so I was completely dependent on him for the words in that moment, and he came through. She whispered thank you and continued to rub the leg of her daughter. I jumped right in. I offered to do whatever she needed. I had food prepared and delivered to their home and supported my friend in every way I could think of. I had the privilege of making the funeral programs and helped prepare the honoring of her daughter’s life as she entered into the season of eternity. It took her some time to grieve the loss of her daughter. I am sure we can all understand this. We stayed as close as our schedules have allowed, and then once again, she was faced with her youngest daughter facing a life-threatening illness. Unfortunately, her daughter lost the battle to her illness, I stayed right there until I knew my friend was standing on her own two feet again. Even now we connect as often as we can. And while losing her second child was a blow, she had time to process before the loss than her first child. While it was still not easy to say goodbye, we had the script this time. I was honored to make the programs again, as I was able to make them like the first daughters, and now the two girls are together only a few years apart. I don’t know what the future holds for either of us or what road we will walk. I know for sure that I will always be there for her and she will be for me. When I asked her to write about her side of this experience knowing that she may not be able to, this is what she responded with.  “Angie has seen me through the sorrow. She has helped me crawl out of the depths of grief and shared the highest joys. She has held my hand, she has encouraged, at times pushed harder than I wanted, but always forward. Thank you, Angie, for crawling in the pit with me. Thank you, Angie, for being a lifeline to me all these years.” I have walked this road more times than I care to share. They are not easy, but it has shown me that when the script of any situation enters my heart or mind, I embrace it. I start planning and am constantly getting ready for that which might come. Even if I don’t believe it will.   Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4