Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, his legacy, and his work — they’re just too vast to be summed up in a single theme, or even to adequately cover in a day. After years of studying his teachings and learning from his lieutenant, my mentor Ambassador Andrew Young, I’m still uncovering layers in Dr. King’s messages. And I’m constantly amazed by the sheer brilliance of his mind and soul. But looking at the state of our nation and the world today, I can’t help but wonder what riveting thing Dr. King would say to stir us in a time like this. What compelling call to action would he give the masses? What words of encouragement would he impart to his inner circle and the faithful few?
I believe that Dr. King would be urging us to hold on and continue to fight the good fight. He’d tell us to hold fast to what we believe, and know in our hearts is right, and to fight until victory is won. Simply put, I believe he’d tell us to persevere.
In times like these, it’s natural for hope to flicker while passions stay ablaze. But we must remember that to keep that hope alive, we must remain optimistic about the future. History has shown us that the moral arc of the universe always bends toward justice. It’s on us, though, to play our part in making that happen in our own time.
So today, I challenge you: renew your commitment to social and economic justice. Persevere. If you’ve been focusing on personal goals in these first few weeks of the year, let today be the day you start to aim for something that will make the world a better place, for your community and for everyone.
No matter what, we must remain hopeful. We can’t allow darkness to overshadow the light. We need to be that light that, shining in the darkness, leading the way to a brighter, more prosperous future for ourselves and the generations to come.
Keep smiling, keep that determination in your heart, and keep persevering until freedom rings and victory is won — in our personal, professional, and financial lives, and in our society as a whole.
Happy MLK Day. Stay hopeful and keep moving forward.
-John Hope Bryant
Founder, Chairman, CEO