“But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you shall be your servant and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be the servant of all.” (Matthew 20:26)
In Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon “The Drum Major Instinct” he defined this instinct as “a desire to be out front, a desire to lead, a desire to be first. “The desire to be heard, the desire to be seen, the desire to breathe freely — the desire to be great.
In the quest for greatness have people become blinded to the humanity of others? True greatness does not come by way of a pre-established and planned curriculum or set of behaviors. True greatness is not the quest for recognition and headline. True greatness is the demonstration of genuine love, exercising of truth, consistent displaying of justice and a commitment to the well-being of all humanity.
When these four are seated at the table, greatness comes from the product they create. It is not a quest for recognition and headlines; it is a shared sense of responsibility for the accomplishments.
Holy Week 1968 was filled with grief, anger and death as the country responded to the murder of Dr. King. In the midst of the Holy Week Uprising, Dr. King’s words resonated throughout the country admonishing those who have misinterpreted greatness. Greatness is not something you aspire to gain — it is the product of engaging in a life of serving others.
Is love displayed when bans are put on our bodies?
Is truth exercised when legislators attempt to expel those elected fairly because they speak truth to power?
Is justice displayed when a mental health crisis results in a vicious beating resulting in the death of a community member in need of help?
Is there a genuine commitment to the well-being of ALL humanity when one’s skin color is used to oppress others?
When these four things are withheld from the most vulnerable of our communities it is withheld from our entire community. We must all stand together. We must.
Taking from a celebrity who said, “fame isn’t pretty” —greatness isn’t pretty, but greatness is available to ALL.” All who have a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”
As we recognize the sacrifice of Dr. King and his family during Holy Week 2023, we stand together for all!
Feeding the hungry…
Clothing the naked…
Visiting the incarcerated….
Ensuring everyone can breathe freely….
The quest for greatness is not a contest for supremacy fueled by arrogance, instead it is a quest to be “first in love, moral excellence, and generosity.”
These actions know no boundaries!
Dare to be genuine….Dare to be great!
Rev. Regina D. Clarke ministers at the Cathedral of Praise Memphis and is the West TN Community Organizer for Planned Parenthood of Tennessee & North Mississippi.
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