“Try to be an ordinary person doing extraordinary things!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
So, I was watching this PBS show about the civil rights era while at the gym, and a particular section about Martin Luther King caught my attention. After his assassination, one of his counterparts observed, “he was just an ordinary person, trying to do extraordinary things.” That caught my attention!
I was 9 years old when he was killed, and the memory of riding my bike to school with my friends, and wondering what it all meant, remains forever seared in my memory.
And so my photo this morning is from my talk last year for the Mississippi Economic Development Corporation. The organization had me in for a talk about where the jobs and economic opportunities of the future might come from. I remember looking out at the audience of 300 people – economic development officials, politicians, and others – and being in awe at the complete lack of diversity.
I remain pretty confused about today’s political environment, where hatred, race, and terror once again rule the domestic environment. I wonder if the many gains of MLK are being pushed way, way back.
Beyond the politics, the sentiment found in the quote itself provides extraordinary guidance.
Why live a life that is marginal, when you have the chance each and every moment to try to do something great? Why take small steps when giant leaps are always within your reach? Why limit your thinking to small ideas when it’s the big concepts that might win the day?
Take some inspiration from the giants who have walked before you and who look at the world around them, and say to yourself, “This needs to change!”