This moment, right now, exactly at this point and on the ground on which you stand, it is your purpose and should be your intent to be noticed, to make a difference, and to be the person you were born to be. Failures have come before, have made you stronger, and decisions made have taken you exactly where you are today - stronger from your failure, wiser from mistakes, hardened with experience, and more focused on your goal of refusing to be forgotten by the next generation. As you continue to push, persevere, and with steadfast determination drive toward your one and only chance at societal immortality, you know you will soon be in good company with others who came before and stand now in the hall of the greats. You are in the final stretch. And now, you must leap...
When, on August 28, 1963, Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to deliver his "I Have A Dream" speech, he took a leap from those steps into history. It was his moment, his opportunity, and his sole purpose to advance beyond what mere mortals may obtain. And, as he leapt, he permanently impressed his enduring legacy into the history books. The engraving you see above is on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the exact same spot from which Dr. King delivered the greatest speech of all time. You have to wonder how many people have simply stepped over it on their way to the top? How many never even noticed the engraving as they ascended the stairs? How many sat from this very spot, peering over the lawns, in search of a life they believe out of reach. How many, in their daily lives, continue to look for their "spot", their leaping point, their opportunity to "come along" - all the while, unknowingly, but perfectly positioned to take their personal leap?
It is clear we may not all command the attention of millions or have the opportunity to address the country from the Lincoln Memorial, but the influence we choose to have on our own potential and other's well-being is equally impactful within our sphere of influence. The key is, you must leap from the security of the zoo into the unknown of the jungle. Do your people recognize the impact they may have on those around them? Have they been encouraged, regardless of their position, to take their leap? If they fall, will you support them?
"And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are." - Martin Luther King, "What is Your Life's Blueprint", 1967