“The proof that one truly believes is in action.”
Today is the day that we honor the memory, contributions and incredible compassion of Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of his truest confidants, who was also a chief architect of the March on Washington in 1963, was a man not often recognized by the mainstream—Bayard Rustin.
What Dr. King did for our country and the many ways he inspired others around the world can not be measured.
Reverend King lead a movement of brave, brilliant and resilient people of all races. And he had help.
Mr. Rustin was an openly gay man who spent his entire life fighting for civil rights and rights for the LGBTQ communities through nonviolent methods. He worked tirelessly to open the world’s eyes to the fact that we are all humans who want to live with dignity regardless of how we look or who we love.
He was also an organizer.
An organizer of a different type but one who believes, as I do, that change comes from action.
If you truly believe that everyone deserves equal access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then the proof is in the action.
Mr. Rustin chose to act and was arrested for it. That did not deter him.
He often struggled both within his chosen communities as well as the world at large for simply being who he was.
He is another unsung hero who contributed substantially and yet was not always recognized in real time for his contributions.
In 2013, Mr. Rustin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama. Reverend King’s son honored Mr. Rustin at the ceremony.
If you are waiting for someone to give you a green light and say, “yes,” you may be waiting a long time.
Instead, draw inspiration from this man and how he chose to live his life—in service to make the world a better place.
Do not wait another minute for the right time because that time is now.
Celebrate the greatness in you while acknowledging the legacy of this dynamic, thoughtful and passionate man who stood up for all the things he believed in every day.
In large and small ways, he stood up for you and me.
Honor his memory by standing up for yourself, your dreams and your loved ones. We have the power to create a brighter today and an even better future where love trumps hate, impatience and meanness—regardless of their source.
At the very least, today we should not accept anything less than love emanating from us towards anyone, including and especially ourselves.