On Monday, we collectively celebrated Martin Luther King Day, marking the birthday of this great leader. As I reflected on Dr. King's grittiness that enabled his achievements, I’m inspired by his abundance of passion and perseverance – the core character traits of grit. Dr. King pressed on in the face of certain failure, and he died without realizing the dreams that he so eloquently spoke of, yet he himself was not a failure, but rather, a national hero.
I’m drawn to this description of Dr. King’s grit.
But what makes a prophet is not success. It is the person whose feet move in the morning towards an ideal despite knowing that it can never be attained and that its pursuit leads to a cross. The power, the triumph is that those blessed feet still moved. (From Religion at the Margins)
What was it that enabled Dr. King to press on? I believe it was his deeply rooted passion for his cause. It was his passion that reinforced his perseverance. It was as though his passion was like carbon fiber that impregnates another material to form a composite of amazing strength and resilience.
This week, as we memorialize Dr. King, take a few moments to ponder his character – and, in particular, his grit – and the role that it played in his achievements. Then, I encourage you to consider a worthy goal of your own where Dr. King’s kind of grit may be required for success.