Updated: Mar 20
He didn’t wear a cape, but the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. continues to inspire people, even now, more than fifty years after his death. What made him great? How can you learn skills to become a leader, and inspire others to do good things?
In high school in Georgia, young Martin joined the debate team and became known as a good public speaker. He went to college, received a doctorate in theology, and became a minister. From this training, he was able to educate people on what the problem was, why they should care, and what they could do to help. But often, one’s formal education is only part of the story of what makes someone successful.
It may seem that such a giant became great all by himself, but that’s not true. Dr. King was inspired by his family and other great people, like Mahatma Gandhi, who came before him, and Rosa Parks, who was a little older and became an ally. He and other activists formed a capable team, and made alliances with other teams that had similar goals.
Leaders like Dr. King see a problem they want to fix, and find ways to do so. The problem was racism. When he was a young man, it was legal for local governments to prevent black people from voting, or sitting where they wanted to in restaurants or buses, or marrying someone of another race, or to even go to the same school or church as white people. But as a teenager, he had gone to Connecticut and saw how things were pleasantly different.
So, his team and others organized protests and voter registration drives, and he gave speeches like “I Have a Dream.” Sometimes these efforts failed, but he had the courage and determination to keep fighting for justice. He knew it was important to learn, adjust, and imagine new ideas because the civil rights movement was giving hope to millions of people, and could end up bringing them the rights they had thus far been denied. So, many black people and some white people joined his quest.
Ultimately, the movement needed millions of white people—who would not directly benefit from the changes he championed—to care and to take action. They needed to understand—and feel—that black people were like them, and deserved the same rights. As injustices and protests were in the news more and more often, more and more people understood and supported the movement. Many improvements were achieved, but many others still need work.
He said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
It just so happens that at The Story School, you can get hero training by having a blast! You play a role inside our adventure story, find compassion for others, and champion good over evil! You will use your imagination to identify strategies, solve problems, connect with other heroes, bring honor to your team, and save the day!
During your adventure, think: What is the problem? How can it be solved? What are your strengths? What are the strengths of the other heroes? How can your team reach the goal? What can you learn that will help the team succeed? How can you all adapt to new situations? How can you enlist the help of others? YOU control what happens next!
If you are a hero that wants to become your true self and be part of a team of heroes, join us on January 18th for our MLK Day adventure! You might even get a hint of what will happen at summer camp. You can do either the full-day, six-hour adventure (9:00-3:00, including an hour for lunch break, for $120), or just the morning or afternoon for $80. (Preregistration is required by calling (781) 214-1174 at least 24 hours before the event.)