Unfortunately, I was too lazy to participate in my local Martin Luther King Day celebration like I wanted to. However, as of late, the concept of "thrivals" in relation to Dr. King's dream have been on my mind. In contribution to acknowledging this day, here's a thought I wanted to share: In looking at Dr. King's views, I see similarities with the principles behind "thrivals". Even more so, I see a responsibility for thrivals to carry on Dr. King's legacy.
By now you're probably wondering who are thrivals. Janelle Monae puts it best by describing them as people who "don't see race and gender as an obstacle" to their goals (Dr. Nat Irvin II, the man behind the term, elaborates on the subject here: http://www.mba.wfu.edu/download.aspx?id=351). As the many boundaries that have divided us as a nation and world decrease in significance, it's becoming increasingly inportant-if not necessary-to have a willingness to work with people of diverse backgrounds for the ultimate good. With such an understanding, as one of my friends recently tweeted, "thrivals will change the world".
So what does this have to do with Dr. King's dream? As he says in the speech, "...we cannot walk alone". This is especially true in our current society. In many ways, the issue of who gets affected by various policies, technologies, and innovations is becoming less affected by race, gender, and nationality. Addressing the problems that accompany this reality requires the recognition that, to quote King's speech again: "freedom...is inexorably linked".
Yes, there are many examples of division throughout the U.S. and the world. However, on the whole, there are more features of contemporary civilization that are bringing us together than separating us. This doesn't negate issues of racism and other forms of discrimination as a thing of the past to be disregarded. They are the impetus in creating a better future. Dr. King recognized that in his lifetime, and thrivals recongize it now. It is thus crucial for thrivals to continue his legacy.
This is achieved, in all actuality, by thrivals being themselves. By becoming engaged in diverse arenas of study and profession, thrivals embody the future King envisioned in which people were "judged by the content of their character. Also key is informing others about the thrival philosophy. As the word spreads, the easier it is to create change.
Given we're in a new year, this is the perfect opportunity to consider ways in which to impact society for the better. As we all know, there's still work to be done. Considering the similarity between Dr. King's ideals and that of thrivals, thrivals are in a unique position to take on this challenge.