MLK Quote of the Week: "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence"



If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo 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.”

“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We need to constantly reflect on the privilege of being blessed to live in a country where we are free to labor in whatever work we choose, and are divinely called into, let us remember that no labor is in vain, nor is it worthless, but brings lasting value to those that we serve - let us serve with honor and excellence!

It seems that this quotation’s from Dr. MLK Jr. alludes to two things:

1.     That all work or actions have an impact in the world -- there is nothing humanity does that is insignificant.

2.     That when such work is focused on uplifting and freeing human kind, it must be practices with awareness to doing it precisely and carefully...or in his words "with painstaking excellence".

All our tasks are so intertwined no matter where we are in the society, in our churches, in our factories.  If one of us does not do our task well it brings down the entire group.  At the same time if for some reason one of us is having a genuine difficulty in accomplishing our task, it is important for the others to pitch in and help out in order that the wheels of progress are not slowed down or stopped. Just imagine for a second how an automobile cannot move if we get a flat in one of the tires even though the remaining three tires are fine.

We constantly must be aware that we should be doing our work diligently if we only for a moment think that we are doing our tasks to the best of our ability to please our God. Hence irrespective of whether we are being observed by our peers or superiors we should be doing our best to complete our tasks to the best of our abilities.

We must always remember that everybody here at the King Center has a significant part in carrying out the message of Dr. King. None of us should believe that what we do does not matter or what we do only matters.  I would like to end my reflection by quoting Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta who said, “It is important for ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Sharon Sequeira

Director of Technology