Positivity Reinvents Us: Honoring Doctor King

January 15th, 2013

Today I had the privilege of teaching a class called Achieving Social Justice Through Positivity Consciousness at our local high school’s Respect Day where a group of local community and spiritual leaders offer workshops. I was invited because of the Positive Change Club. The principle wasn’t sure about the link between positivity consciousness and social justice, so I reconfigured the workshop to demonstrate how all great social movements arise out of the potential that is unleashed when we strive to be our best selves.  Cornel West wrote: “Social Justice is what love looks like in public.”

Before diving into the basic tools of re-training your brain towards thriving we identified the three key traits that move our lives towards personal authenticity and the capacity to act in the name of social justice for all. Martin Luther King’s writings clarify the defining intention held within each one. I asked the students to write down a personal memory, book or movie that recalled each experience.

Open mindedness

“The call for intelligence is a call for open mindedness, sound judgment, and love for truth. It is a call for [people] to rise above the stagnation of closed mindedness and the paralysis of gullibility. One does not need to be a profound scholar to be open minded, nor a keen academician to engage in an assiduous pursuit for truth.”

Resilience

“[Nonviolence] first does something to the souls of those committed to it. It gives them a new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.”

Connectedness

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.”

I think the classes were good… Several kids stayed after sharing their own experiences of how changing their thinking had changed their entire lives. I feel lucky every time I get close to those amazing shifts in the trajectory of life. It is a deep honor to be a voice for waking up to our best selves.

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