Dream, BE, Learn, Grow

I chose to blog about this topic, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2015, in honor of a humble, peace-loving, and God fearing man who gave all of himself to serve his people. May his legacy not be in vain.

In my younger years, I was always inspired by the pioneers of social change. I wanted to be like Thomas Edison or  Thurgood Marshall. I wanted to do something like Rosa Parks or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. I used to say, “I have a dream, like Martin Luther King Jr.,” and, “thank God, for the likes of Mother Theresa.” Over time, I related to the passions of founding fathers and entrepreneurs, like Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Carnegie. This is just a short list of my role models, let me not undermine the countless others who have had a positive impact in this world and on me personally. On a basic level, they all felt the need to do something that no one else was doing. They decided to stand up to the idea that they were going to be themselves (whatever that meant for them), and let no one who didn’t understand them get in their way, as long as it was to leave a legacy for human advancement.

When we look back at history and learn the struggles that these prominent figures each endured for a better today– red tape, bigotry, hate, ridicule, poverty, physical distress, incarceration- it begs a few questions: Is each person in this world living to their truest and fullest potential? Why wouldn’t or couldn’t they? Is anyone trying to hinder “world peace?” Why would they? Are we better off; are things the same; are they worse? Of course, for most of us, these are obvious questions, with or without valid answers. And the questions go deeper, and get uglier. The world we live in and its problems, are an enigma made up of each individual contribution. With that said, I believe that the solution to many of our problems, derive from individual responsibility. Thanks to my role models, I’ve extracted these concepts from them.

I’m still learning, and striving to reach my full potential, but these ideas drive me every day. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but continuing to pursue my education & stand up for what I believe in, is the course of action I depend on to achieve my dreams.

What about YOU? What are your dreams? What drives you? Who are your role models? Are you living the life you really want to live? Do you know yourself? Are you who you want to be? Is there anything else you can do? Have you thought about it? Think about it.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I am 1 person trying to connect to as many individuals as possible over a lifetime, in an effort to network for a better world. In 2008, I founded my own grassroots initiative called 1+One: Networking For a Better World. It started out as promoting a better world through dialogue. Five years later, it evolved into a very small action based movement. Two years since then, here I am with another facet to the 1+One paradigm- #RealTalk, the blog, the internet place where I could continue on my mission.

From an extremely young age, I’ve experienced a cruel world. I’ve always looked forward to being an adult so that I can have the power to make changes that needed to be made, socially and politically. Whether I could actually accomplish anything or not, I vowed to live my life trying, no matter what. So far, progress has seemed slow. Yet, progress is underway, nonetheless. With a glass half full, I’m always looking forward.

Over the years I have used business networking as an avenue to raise awareness and educate, all with the ambition of encouraging individual responsibility. I was blessed with the opportunity to learn from each person I met and connection I made, adding more knowledge and understanding to my cause. My network consists of those from governmental, non-profit, for-profit, media, and educational institutions, as well as artists, humanitarians, and etc. from civil society.

As Voltaire once stated, “Common sense is not so common.” And while it may never be, we can at least try to come to some common understanding, by communicating effectively through healthy discussion and respectful debate. That’s what I’m about, that’s what #RealTalk is about.

**BUT “PhoenixMax”??? Yea, that’s me… my favorite superhero is Jean Grey, the Phoenix in the X-Men comic series. It’s hard not to admire the character of a woman who uses her mind as her power, her compassion as her will, and all of herself to save humanity. She is still human and has her flaws, but as the legend goes, there is no death only rebirth into something bigger and better each time. Now you know ;).**

One thought on “Dream, BE, Learn, Grow”

  1. Lately I’ve been noticing how much true love requires sacrifice. True love for others means forgetting ourselves, our comforts, our needs, to achieve something great. Your post echoes this notion for me. Thank you!

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