What Kind Of Mark Are You Going To make?

Everybody Can Be Great: Til the Very Last Minute

What Kind Of Mark Are You Going To make?

I was listening to a speaker this past MLK Day who talked about how we can sometimes have a tendency to place King and others on such a high pedestal, that the courage that they had and the work that they’ve done can seem to be unattainable for us today.

She talked about how putting them on a pedestal dehumanizes them by  ignoring their imperfections, invalidating the fears they may have had, and the times where they may have felt unsure about which actions to take.

The speaker also shared that elevating the activists of the past to an almost Godlike status can prevent us from recognizing the power we have within ourselves to do the best we can, where we are, with what we have now, to make a difference (which is ultimately a part of what I believe our predecessors did with their lives).


An assertion she made that I’m keeping close is the idea that each of us is moved, called, pulled, inspired, (or whatever you’d prefer to call it) to a purpose that works in service of others in some way, and how the truest form of obedience to that call can be found in living it out until the very last minute: until our very last moment; pointing out how so many people have lived and died in service for social change and progress.

I took it as an affirmation and a challenge to keep my head up and keep living it out, even when it might seem as if things aren’t working at the time.

Everybody can be great.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW



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Written by

I’m a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities.

“Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian” is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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1 Response

  1. May 25, 2016

    […] However, doing so dehumanizes them by  ignoring their imperfections, invalidating the fears they may have…. […]

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