Reflections on Martin Luther King Day.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” – Martin Luther King[1]

It is perhaps the most telling measure of a man or woman that the mere mention of their name prompts all of us to pause and to ponder life’s meaning and our place in the universe.

Martin Luther King was such a man.

Here are four quotes, provided to help you structure your contemplation this time around.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

A good starting point. Living on the Real World asserts to be reality-based. Many people have questioned this; including some in the (micro) audience who showed up at the AMS Publications booth at this past week’s AMS Annual Meeting for readings and discussion with book authors (thanks, Ken and Sarah Jane!), faulting the book for being optimistic. But optimism and pessimism refer to moods unsubstantiated by facts, data, experience, etc. The right word is hopeful a confident evidence-based expectation that goodness is on the way.

You and I can face the world and the future with hope rooted in realism. Something to ponder.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Faith? Numerical Weather Prediction? They share this in common. The essence of weather forecasting is this iterative, moment-by-moment approach, taking a step, then reanalyzing, then taking another step… Who knew?

Reason for reflection.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Meteorologists are thinking a great deal about the future of the field. Mr. King points us to the right mentality: embracing the change, shaping change, making that change positive, versus flinching from it.

Time to embrace that mindset.

“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”

 Our significance in life stems less from what we achieve than from whom we help.

Good news! You and I share that daily opportunity for greatness. Meteorologists – whether government, or private-sector, or academic – are in the business of serving, and improving that service, each and every day.

So today, reflect on all this – take the effort to appreciate and own those characteristics and aspirations you share with Dr. King. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Then dive back in. Keep up your good works of saving lives and property, building resilience, tapping nature’s bounty of food, water, and energy, and protecting the environment. Give thanks for those who’ve encouraged you and helped you reach this good place in life. Pay it forward! Give encouragement to those around you.

And in this way enjoy the day, and honor Dr. King’s memory[2].

_____________________________________________

[1] With thanks to Jon Gordon, who compiled these quotes (and a number of others) on his blog.

[2] You can find other LOTRW posts on Martin Luther King here.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.