At café this week, we talked about the idea of greatness. In our lives, we've all wanted to great—not just good, but great. As Tech students, we all want to be the best, the smartest. We ALL are trying to beat the curve. But there’s this issue, when we are all striving to be the best, and it is this: there are always people better than you, at whatever it is (unless you are like Michael Phelps or Dumbledore, in that case, why are you reading this anyway?). So in trying to be the best and trying to size up the people around us, two different things can occur. One, we come up short and end up feeling bad and have deflated self-worth. Or two, become we become people of great arrogance who are always trying to stay on top. We become people with inflated self worth. Neither option sounds great to me. So how do we become great? The great MLK Jr. coined this phrase—the ‘drum major instinct’. It refers to this idea that we are all trying to the best at something. Maybe it’s part of human nature, to do desire to be best, to be great. However, instead of greatness being found in being the best, maybe it lies in something a little bit different. When the disciples asked Jesus what it takes to be great, he told them to not be first but to be last. That greatness means being a servant. He says that in his kingdom, things are opposite. So in light of all that, it’s a very simple question I have for you: what are you trying to be the best at? At what? And for what? Let’s continue to think about this desire to be great. Let’s continue to strive to be important and the best—but in a different way, so that God’s kingdom can exist here and now.
“And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
To listen or read the full sermon by MLK, Jr. meantioned above: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_the_drum_major_instinct/
I think this topic has also come at a very appropriate time, with this year marking 50 years since the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’. To read President Barack Obama’s speech in Selma: http://time.com/3736357/barack-obama-selma-speech-transcript/