The Ultimate Measure

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as well as the 57th Presidential Inauguration here in the states. A day off from work and an appropriate time to reflect on what the civil rights leader did for our country. What did he stand for, and what does it mean to me?

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. 

This quote always struck a deep chord with me. More often than not, our interactions with those around us happen in moments of comfort and convenience. It’s all too easy to be loving and considerate when life is on cruise control, but when marred by challenge and controversy, only then does true character take center stage.

So take a moment to think and reflect with me: Who am I when no one is looking? Who am I when everyone is looking? Can I still treat people with kindness, compassion, dignity, and respect – regardless of whether I am having a bad day, despite when it feels like the whole world is against me, and even when it’s not convenient for me?


(Source: MLK stock photo via Seattle Times.)


2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Measure

  1. indytony says:

    I like the quote and your challenge. I chose to write today on the racism that was and still is prevalent among some white Midwesterners. It’s called “Was He Only Dreaming?: Hoosier Perspectives on Martin Luther King”. I’d love for you to check it out and tell me what you think.

  2. Three Teaspoons A Day says:

    Thank you @indytony. No doubt that racism is still very much prevalent today – not just with Mid-westerners. Perhaps not as blatant, but definitely still existent. I read a quote once in a Sociology class, that as long as there are racial distinctions, there will be racism. Not sure how much truth there is in that, but it’s certainly food for thought. And I completely agree with MLK – “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”


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