Your Prominence Does not Give You Your Significance

This title is a paraphrase of the great theologian and social commentator, former basketball player Chris Webber (I can't remember the exact line but this is pretty close), in the pre-game show of an NBA game today.

So true Chris! We often remember (and we should) the stellar contributions to society that people like Martin Luther King have given us.  However, it is so true that a man like Martin Luther King Jr. only exists because of the "significance" of other people, the people that he rightly recognizes in his own immortal "dream" speech:

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of 
you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the 
veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Each person who came to hear that speech and had been through so much was just as important or significant as Martin Luther King Jr. himself.  

Each of us has the ability to have great significance, in fact I believe God created us to do just that.  What is your significance?

Hey, by the way, has anyone noticed the USA is inaugurating their first African-American President tomorrow?  I think that those people who went home "to the slums and ghettos" actually did have a very significant impact on the history of the most prominent country in the world.


Tiffany said...

So true. Actually when I read your post title it made me think (totally off-topic, I know) of the status that we give people like singers and actors. Seriously, I like a good movie as much as the next person, but why do we idolize the people acting in them? What have they really done? Why do people not care about causes until a celebrity's face is included in the fight?

Today is an amazing day. I watched the inauguration speech on tv, and it was hard not to get emotional. It's a big turning point for a country that has tried very hard to marginalize black people and other minorities in a very violent, oppressive past. It'll be interesting to see what the next few years brings!