Serve with integrity. Care about those you serve. Share the love in your heart & soul.

Monday, January 21, 2008

#359 Thank You Dr. King

Today is a day to be solemn and to rejoice. Forty-five years ago Dr. King gave us his inspiring speech, I Have A Dream. Today, much of that dream is coming true. However, we still have a long way to go. Oprah devoted her show today to commemorate Dr. King and to help us to understand what has come to pass since that day in Washington, DC.

I also had the opportunity to read the speech given by Senator Barak Obama at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday morning. It is also quite stirring. (There is also a video of that speech.)

Both sources are quite inspiring to me and I hope you will be moved as well. I was reminded of some of the things in my life that may have contributed to the place we have reached in our culture. No, it is not so much what I did personally, but what I was a part of.

As part of my military service I was called upon to participate in the government's support of furthering civil rights during the 1960's. I was part of the effort to protect Mr. James Meredith at the University of Mississippi. Later I was also involved in providing protection for the march from Selma to Memphis. It was sad to think that such activities should have to happen in this great country. I am proud of the small part that I played.

This past weekend was the first real estate class for 2008. The last chapter to discuss on Sunday pertained to Fair Housing. I have about a five minute presentation I give prior to dealing with the course material. I believe my military and educational experience, and my commitment serving allows me to do this. As a member of the faculty at the US Army, Command and General Staff College, I held the position of Subject Matter Expert pertaining to discrimination in the military, and women in the Army. I have also taken college level courses on those subjects. Having said that, let me share some of the comments I give to the class to help them provide the service that people should receive.

First I make the statement that, "I exhibit racist behavior." The explanation for that statement is the result of acculturation. This is not admitted as an excuse, but as a fact of life. The point is to realize this happens to us all and it is helpful to know it.

We then recognize that, after two days, I have a different relationships with each of the 14 members of the class. They agreed. It is important to recognize that these differences occur in our daily lives. As a real estate professional, as well as in our daily lives, we need to behave in ways that show respect for those with whom we interact. Regardless of who it is who walks into their office, they need to provide them with the same level of service.

It is important to their success to learn to...

Serve others, care about those we serve and share the love in your heart.



Karen said...

Great words on a special day, Jack.

sage said...

blogger ate my first comment!

It must of been interesting being in MS during that time--I was just a little tot in NC.

Have you read Taylor Branch's trilogy, "America in the King Years?" The first, which is the only one I've read, is "Parting the Waters, 1954-63" It's wonderful and I hope to get back to the other two volumes--they're only about 900 pages each.

Jack K. said...

Thanks, Karen.

Sage, it was indeed an interesting time. We knew we were making history, but we didn't dwell on it. We just did our job.

I hadn't heard of Branch's trilogy. I might just have to look it up. Thanks for letting me know about it.