Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 18, 2014

Find greatness by serving others

By Michael C. Carson
Local columnist

---- — On Monday we will observe Martin Luther King Day.

One of Dr. King’s speeches “What Is Your Life's Blueprint?” was delivered at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on Oct. 26, 1967. Within this speech lies the “DNA” of greatness.

Dr. King shared: “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.”

I believe that being “great” is loving what you do and loving others. Give your very best in whatever endeavor you are involved in. Therefore being what one might call “great” really means that you discharge your responsibilities to the best of your abilities. Believe that what you do will benefit the lives of others. Strive to love what you do and desire what you do to be for the greater good, the charity of others.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing…. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3,13)

Strive to be the best servant you can be. Believe that whatever God has called you to do and to be in life deserves your utmost attention and care.

At the beginning of your day, set out determined to do your very best. Then you can, at the end of the day, say to yourself “I did the best I could do today!”

When you strive to do your best but sometimes miss the mark, learn from your experience and try again. God will understand and say, "well done."

Dr. King declared: “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”

Peace with justice in God’s grace, be blessed real good, attend worship, and families matter.