“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Ok, let’s get real.
What parent dreams about their child becoming a street sweeper? Hmm… I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, not many of us. (even if they are GREAT street sweepers) But doesn’t someone have to sweep the streets? I know you’re thinking it. Well, of course, the losers sweep streets, not the hard working and the well educated. No one chooses to sweep streets, do they?
So as we prepare our children for their future, what are we preparing them for? Greatness! We want them to do things that are marvelous, spectacular, amazing… We want them to be successful.
So what is success?
Everybody can be great. Because anybody 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 the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I love this quote! For me, it puts life in perspective. I don’t know about you, but I often get bogged down by subjects and verbs agreeing, adding, multiplying and the like. And yet, if we are able to do all of these things extremely well, and we live selfish, loveless lives, who cares?
Who gets to the final moments of life and thinks, “If only I had read that book, or worked that problem, or learned more about history, …” At the end of our life, what really matters? As you consider the answer to that question, let me pose another. Shouldn’t we be living that way now? At the end of our lives it’s too late.
We can live for what matters now.
Shouldn’t we be preparing our children to be the kind of people that live for what really matters?
We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are doing more than educating minds with academic subjects. We are preparing our children to be people who impact the world for good. They don’t have to wait until they are adults to do good in the world.
Let’s be people who live for what matters.
Let’s be people who love– even if that means sweeping streets.