Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t have a plan, he had a dream. He had a vision. MLK probably had no idea how the change he was advocating would take place, he just knew what he wanted. The thing is Martin Luther King Jr. did not need a plan. Why? Because he knew how to inspire action and create a shared vision.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream…” speech was not about a plan. If it was about a plan his speech would have been entitled “I have a detailed proposal…” See, Martin Luther King Jr., through his speech and leadership, identified the problem and ultimate goal and then helped people conceptualize and articulate their vision. Like another great leader Mahatma Ghandi, what Martin Luther King Jr. did was inspire people to be the change they wanted to see in the world.
As a leader in your Alpha you can learn a lot from Martin Luther King Jr.. If you haven’t seen MLK’s “I have a dream…” speech in a while I encourage you to watch it again and listen closely.
For Martin Luther King Jr. it was about a vision and attitude. He knew what he wanted and he believed that he would get it. The attitude of Martin Luther King Jr.’s followers reflected Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership. Because he believed it, they believed it. Because he shared their vision and led by example they followed. He knew the change would not easy, nor would it be quick, but he challenged his peers to rise up and take action. Fraternities can learn a lot from MLK’s leadership.
As a leader in your Alpha you probably can identify a few problems, some bad “traditions”, and a few activities that your Alpha participates in that don’t align with Chi Psi’s values. You know that there are some changes your Alpha could make.
I have a dream that one day fraternities will be looked upon in a positive light. That negative stereotypes about fraternity men will no longer exist.
I have a dream that fraternities will be praised and applauded for adhering to the values upon which we were founded. That fraternal organizations will be recognized for building better men, pursuing excellence, for adding supreme benefit to the larger community.
In order for fraternities to be recognized and praised, our men must live values-congruent lives and pursue excellence. We must stop engaging in behaviors that bring negative criticism upon our organizations, and we must be good stewards and
leaders on campus and in the larger community.
I challenge you to create positive change within you Alpha. Will it be easy? Probably not. But will it be worth it? Absolutely.
I leave you with a few of my favorite quotes about change from Martin Luther King Jr. Interpret them and apply them to your Alpha as you will…
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“First and foremost, let us remember that change has never been quick. Change has never been simple, or without controversy. Change depends on persistence. Change requires determination.”
–President Obama, 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication