Balance purpose, relationships, and self-care

Empathy works. It always does.

Martin Luther King and my mission in life

Leave a comment

This Wednesday I flew out to Atlanta to renew my passport. At first I was frustrated about the hassle, and the consumption of time and money.

Then I decided to make it an adventure and see it as an unique opportunity to visit a city, its people, and its highlights.

Image courtesy to myinterestingfacts.comSo I visited the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr., the The Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, and The King Center. I walked away with even more awe for the radical love, the ultimate fearlessness, and the relentless commitment to social justice, truth, and inclusion Martin Luther King Jr. had. Here stood a man who was dedicated to serve others, no matter the personal cost. I don’t think he spent much time hanging out in front of the television, chatting with friends, dangling his feet in the swimming pool. Here was a man on a mission , who did not waste his time mindlessly, who used every minute, every second of his life in pursuit of his dream.

My mind starts racing. “I should educate myself on philosophy, I should not watch Elementary, I should talk about big topics. I should be on a mission to convert everyone to veganism, to restorative justice, to Nonviolent Communication. I should volunteer to take the place of a death row inmate and let myself be executed or refuse to pay taxes as a statement of the injustice of the punitive system. I should not lull myself into sleep that I do enough.”

You know me well enough to imagine the rest of the drill.

Then I read Martin Luther King’s ‘What’s Your Life’s Blueprint’ in The Radical King (Edited and introduced by Cornel West, 2015, 66-67)

“And when you discover what you’re going to be in life, set out to do it as if God almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. (…) If it falls to be 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. And sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that the hosts of Heaven and Earth will pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” “

And I realize that all I need to do right here, right now is to be the best Elly possible. As a wife, a nanny, a coach. As Elly. Be mindful of everything I am. Bring joy and delight to everything I do. And take a radical stance for compassion, acceptance, and love. For myself. And for others.

That’s good enough.

—–

Want help to take a radical stand for yourself? Contact me 512-589-0482. I would be excited to work with you.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping professionals schedule time for relationships and self-care. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

I am curious to read your response

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s