A Few Things to Reflect Upon on Martin Luther King Day

As we pause today here in the U.S. to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his profound impact on the world, here are some of his mightiest words of wisdom for us all to consider:

  • WORK: “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
  • LEADERSHIP: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
  • ETHICS: “Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. The time is always right to do what is right.”
  • SERVICE: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others? ‘ “
  • JUSTICE: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
  • VALUES: “If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.”
  • SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
  • CONFLICT RESOLUTION: “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
  • THE END OF DISCRIMINATION: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
  • VISION & PERSEVERANCE: “I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.” (From Dr. King’s final speech the night before his assassination in Memphis).

The Bottom Line: Dr. King didn’t just utter these words. He lived them. May we all do the same.

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This was originally published on Manpower Group’s Employment Blawg.

Mark Toth has served as Manpower Group North America's Chief Legal Officer since 2000. He also serves on the company’s Global Leadership Team, Global Legal Lead Team and North American Lead Team. Mark is recognized as an expert on legal issues affecting the U.S. workplace and is frequently quoted in media from The Wall Street Journal to 60 Minutes. He is also a past Chair of the American Staffing Association and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Contact him at mark.toth@manpowergroup.com.