Your Values are Important as are the Transformational Dreams and impacts of those Values
April 14, 1865
Today marks the 150th Anniversary of the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States. I am asking you to take a few moments to read this article which takes into account the road that was paved. How important are your values? Are you prepared to put your values on the line? Since the beginning of time, slavery and bondage have been prevalent. Racism as well. Many struggles, indeed, many wars have been fought. Then in the 20th Century came the personification of non-violent demonstration under that of Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. The road indeed was long with many a winding turn… Lincoln was assassinated just a mere 5 days after the surrender of the Confederate Forces that ended the American Civil War. At the end of the article are links to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King’s famous speech and that of a now Classic Song “Abraham, Martin and John”.
Are you prepared to do what ever it takes to ensure that your values survive and be the shining light that others know you by and ultimately remember you by? Are you prepared to stand up for what is right when standing up for what is right may cause you to get knocked down? And will you get back up no matter how many times it takes?
239 years ago, just a mere speck in the total amount of time that man has been here on Earth and even more of a speak in the total that our planet has been around 55 men would put their transformational values on the line that would not only be for them but would represent many, many others.
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another”.
You see values and transformation go hand in hand. Values are paramount to the continuation and fulfillment of Transformation.
The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents ever to be written, is loaded with values. And it was because of these values that many would be inspired and compelled to face the hardships of what lay ahead on what they hoped would be a better life.
“That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and to institute a new Government.”
Yes, it was in pursuit of these goals and values that would bind the men who signed this document to have to stick together and put it all on the line.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
It is the adopting of specific values that lead us down the path, the road less traveled by. This pursuit should never be violated. But first the Eagle must be born. But sometimes, we have to put aside our values for that of the Greater Good knowing that eventually the Greater Good will evolve and not only renew our values but strengthen them.
Less than 100 years later this young fledgling country would find itself embroiled in a Civil War due to the divergence of those values. The slavery of man could no longer be tolerated. Abraham Lincoln resolved to uphold these values. His understanding that he would not wish to be a slave nor equally wish to be a master inspired him to understand that there was a difference between what a leader can do and what a leader should and must do.
Thousands from both sides would test the limits of their values. Brother against brother. On the very anniversary of the birth of that eagle a battle would rage that would cost the lives of thousands of men who gladly gave up of themselves to preserve their values…The Battle of Gettysburg.
President Lincoln would go on to say…”Four Score and seven years ago our Fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that All Men are created Equal and this Nation under God shall have a new birth of Freedom and concluded that Government of the People and by the People shall not perish from the Earth.”
It is important to note that President Lincoln was assassinated for his convictions to these Transformational Values!
But is of equal importance to note that the pursuit of these values and transformation would continue and have its greatest impacts to date under that of 3 Great Leaders: Martin Luther King Jr., President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby Kennedy.
These men sought to expand and enhance the values of Civil Rights and Transformation that continued to grow so that the Eagle born so many years prior would be able to stretch those wings and fly and soar to the betterment of the peoples involved.
Dr. King sought to continue the fight to rid the nation of segregation and discrimination. But he chose to enact the values of another great man. That of Mohandis Ghandi whose values enhanced the principles of non violence. It would be a long road with many a winding turn. But he was a man with a Dream.
As Dr. King put it “the time is always right to do what is right” and “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that”
Dr. King was assassinated for these transformational values.
Last, but not least was that of President John F. Kennedy who strove to re-awaken the sleeping values of a generation whose time had come.
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade…NOT because it is easy but because it is HARD! “Because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, unwilling to postpone and which we intend to win!”
The United States of America did go on to accomplish those hard things but to note that John F. Kennedy was assassinated for these transformational values as was his younger brother, Robert (Bobby) Kennedy.
I ask you today to once again consider your values and the lengths that you are willing to go to fulfill and preserve them. I ask you whether you are prepared to put it all on the line. I ask you what are your values worth not only to you but to those that will follow you as a result of your fulfilling those values. Racism and slavery are still out there in our World. We are embroiled in so many conflicts both at home and abroad. Even the zealousness of Religion is rearing its head. But clearly, the principles that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many before and many after have continued to strive for, that of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness will always persevere.
But I close with reminding you that while these men sacrificed all and made the ultimate sacrifice YOU don’t need to be assassinated to fulfill yours! But what choice will YOU make today to carry forth the flame?
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address