“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” ~Martin Luther King
Sadly, Martin Luther King personally knew of the pains caused by the millions of people judging others by anything but the content of their character. Black and brown human beings couldn’t hide their skin color. Women can’t easily hide their gender. Those in the LGBTQ community can’t pretend to be who others think they should be…and on and on. Sadly, a person’s character is often the last thing far too many people judge others by. Instead, they evaluate people according to:
- What they can provide for them
- How much money they have
- How influential they are
- How many votes they can provide for a campaign
- How they will vote on an issue
- How attractive they are
- What kind of “currency” they will get by this person knowing them or by being connected to this person
- And on and on
At the end of the day, though, who you are, what you stand for, how you treat others, and how others feel in your presence are the things that make life meaningful. Don’t lose sight of what matters. Who you know, how much you weigh, or the status someone can give you are superficial pieces of an intrinsically more meaningful puzzle called life. Be careful of who you idolize, what you exalt, and what you follow—these actions impact you and our world.
It’s time you and every other human being on this planet stop judging people by the color of their skin, who they love, what they look like, or other external characteristics. Every single person on this planet is a human being. We are all the same species. When you look down on one group of humanity, that is about your insecurity and unhealthy self-esteem, not their worth. When you see others look down on someone, know that it is about their internal weakness, not the lack of worth of the person they are condemning.
Character shows up in how you treat others, what you dare to stand for, and how you step in to protect the dignity and humanity of all of humankind. Martin Luther King had a dream far ahead of his time. However, it is not far ahead of ours. It’s time we all work together to make his dream a reality for our world that so desperately needs more love, equality, and courage rather than hate, violence, and abusive power.
Challenge: Character is formed in the moment-to-moment life choices you make regarding how you treat others, speak about others, and fight for others. Build your character. Treat every single human being as an equal and stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves.