Join us to at 7:pm Eastern…
An hour of Power! An hour of studying the word….
Simply dial-in and listen…and participate if you are so lead.
Call: 605-475-4000 PIN: 101176#
Join us to at 7:pm Eastern…
An hour of Power! An hour of studying the word….
Simply dial-in and listen…and participate if you are so lead.
Call: 605-475-4000 PIN: 101176#
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Why not listen to some smooth sounds as you ride the Train today! See the RADIO BROADCAST PLAYER – RIGHT CORNER…. All ABoard!
Hey Passengers, welcome back aboard. The other day a good friend from back home (Ohio) called me hysterically crying. She felt certain she just blew a second job interview, and she’d hit a breaking point.
Every purchase had become an exercise in extreme deliberation. In fact, I’m fairly certain that when I visited last, I saw her stressing in the grocery store about whether she really needed that box of Twinkies that beckoned from the shelf.
Now here she was, hyperventilating, recounting in explicit detail all the things she’d done wrong in this interview.
The interviewer looked disgusted, she said—he was probably thinking she was incompetent. He asked her questions in an abrupt way—he was trying to trip her up. He didn’t respond when she made conversation on the way to the door—he most likely hated her and couldn’t wait to get rid of her.
Having gone through countless interviews with multiple companies after sending out dozens of resumes, she was just plain exhausted and starting to feel desperate.
As she recalled the anxiety she felt in this encounter, I visualized her sitting vulnerably in front of his desk, and my heart went out to her. I imagined she felt a lot like Tom Smykowski from Office Space when he was interviewing with the efficiency experts to save his job—pre-Jump-to-Conclusions mat.
“I deal with the “CENSORED” customers so the engineers don’t have to! I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people! Can’t you understand that? What the “CENSORED” is wrong with you people!?”
Twenty minutes out of the pressure cooker, she was drowning in fears about what it would mean to not get an offer. She may have to move back in with her parents. She’d need to ask her also unemployed boyfriend for financial help. She’d have to develop a taste for spam, ramen noodles, or maybe even cat food.
Worst of all, when she inevitably failed, she’d have to acknowledge it was all her fault for blowing this interview.
About ten minutes in, I realized that comforting her was not an option.
She didn’t believe me when I told her she’d done her best and she shouldn’t be hard on herself. She felt sure there was no other way to look at the situation; the interviewer was sitting in his office stroking his handlebar mustache and laughing maniacally about the inept woman he had no intention of hiring.
She was talking herself in circles, alternating between statements of certainty—that all had been lost—and asking me what I thought might happen, as if perhaps there was still hope if only an outsider would verify it often enough.
But whenever I suggested that it’s never over until it’s over, she plummeted back into prophetic despair, convinced her inadequacy only allowed for one disappointing outcome.
Just then, between tears and speculative conclusions, call waiting beeped in. She got the job.
I could feel her immense relief. From 500 miles away, I felt her heart rate slow down, her erratic thinking simmer, and her narrow vision of doom expand into a blend of shock, euphoria, and excited anticipation.
I felt it all along with her. I’d been an accomplice to her panic attack, after all.
As I thought about how unnecessary all of the worrying had been—and how I wished she didn’t put herself through that—I realized I’d been in her shoes before. There have been many times when I’ve felt overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness and desperate to feel some type of control.
There have been times when I’ve asked people for their opinions and then felt unsatisfied until I heard exactly what I wanted to hear. When I’ve made assumptions about negative things to come and then obsessed over what I could do to prevent it, or what I should have done to avoid it.
It wasn’t even slightly useful or productive, and it definitely didn’t soften the blow if my fears came true and something went wrong or didn’t pan out.
In fact, it only exacerbated the situation, because worrying essentially began the disappointment retroactively.
If you worry and nothing’s wrong, you’ve wasted precious time over nothing. If you worry and something is wrong, you’ve still wasted precious time.
Every time we use the present to stress about the future, we’re choosing to sacrifice joy today to mourn joy we might not have tomorrow.
It may seem like we’re creating solutions or somehow protecting ourselves from pain, but in all reality, we’re just causing ourselves more of it.
Perhaps the key is to challenge that instinctive sense of fear we feel when we start thinking about uncertainty. When I look back at the most fulfilling parts of my life, I realize most of them took me completely by surprise.
I may not have gotten everything I wanted, but I’ve wanted what I’ve gotten more than often enough to compensate. The unknown may have provided some heartache, but it’s also provided adventure and excitement.
For every time I’ve felt disappointed, there’s been another moment when I’ve felt a sense of wonder. Those are the moments we live for—when all of a sudden we see the world through new eyes in a way we could never have known to predict.
Uncertainty is the cost of that deeply satisfying, exhilarating, spontaneous sense of awe.
It would be easy to say that mindfulness is the answer to worrying. If you’re truly immersed in the present moment, there wouldn’t be any reason to fixate on what might be coming. But I suspect it’s inevitable we’ll do that from time to time. We’re only human, after all.
Maybe a better suggestion is a combination of being in the moment and trusting in the one to follow.
We can’t always control what it will look like, but we can know that more often than not, it will lead to something good if we’re open to it. When it doesn’t, we’ll get through it—and faster if we haven’t already overwhelmed ourselves with what-ifs and worst-case scenarios.
On the other side of worry, there’s trust. We can’t always trust in specifics, but we can trust in ourselves.
Merry Monday Passengers…
All Aboard! Welcome passengers. Today I make an assumption, that we’ve all heard of Mother Teresa. If not, CLICK then come back for the rest of today’s ride.
Enjoy today’s Post while listening to “LIFETRAIN RADIO”
I was in conversation with a friend recently with Mother Teresa being the predominant subject of our talk. I mentioned that I liked quoting her. I mentioned that for me the common theme of Mother Teresa words reflect her work with the lonely, the sick, the dying and the destitute. Her unending love came through in her work and in her words.
She was forever compassionate towards the loneliness felt by “wealthy” people, who on the surface had it all. She was also very concerned about the breakdown of families.
Here is a collection of her words which say it all:
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.
Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents, parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.
It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.
Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.
Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.
Peace begins with a smile.
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.
The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.
The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.
The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.
There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation in this world than for bread. We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
Good works are links that form a chain of love.
In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.
Mother Teresa’s message of love and hope lives on – it is now up to all of us to continue her work and make the world a better place.
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!
The Only Thing You Can Genuinely Be Is You…
Hey Passengers, welcome back aboard the LifeTrain…and enjoy some music with this post either from here see radio button upper right of this page or listen in from tune in radio:
Did you ever see sister act? Well here’s a quote I noted from the movie: “Do you know how sometimes it’s as if you have to be yourself or you’ll just burst?” – Sister Act
You know the people that I like best? The ones that you can tell, deep down, are just being themselves. That aren’t swayed by fads or trends or insecurities. That march to the beat of their own drummer. pa rum pum pum pum, pa rum pum pum pum… That are happy and content no matter what anyone else thinks.
As I journey through life I often hear one phrase over and over:
“I want to be the next _____________.”
The blank would be filled with the name of some latest-and-greatest, or some past master. It’s good to have role models but, don’t confuse the model for the actual thing. Those models capitalized on their own unique gifts and world view. We should be doing the same. They may have started out with more than you. Or they may have started out with less. Just the fact that you have the freedom to be reading these words puts you miles ahead of most of the world. It’s up to us to get the most out of what we have.
We often approach a situation by looking at how it would we handled by someone else. It might be helpful to explore how someone we admire would approach it, just to get some perspective. But trusting ourselves and our own judgment is crucial to success.
Let’s Try this…
Imagine that we are going to be magically teleported to some random foreign country. We have 30 minutes to formulate a plan in our heads before we’re whisked away. we’ll be given the equivalent of $100 in local currency.
What would our plan entail? Would we:
The way we plan your imaginary excursion should tell us a lot about how we think. What we know about our skills. Where your weaknesses are.
How we tackle the unknown is a clue into how we approach life.
We have to work in the framework of reality, no matter how hard it might be. The reality is that I am me and you are you — not someone else.
Instead of trying to figure out how to be the next someone else, I am constantly focusing on being the first me. Being the first in your own success is so much better than being the hand-me-downs of someone else’s.
So passengers, this week, won’t you join me…I am looking forward to getting to know the first you!
Leave a comment…just click the comment button. I’d love to hear from you!
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!
Hey passengers, today we are making a stop at the “Legal” station and chat with Attorney Ewing Carter III (www.ecarterlaw.com) . Today we have a pretty interesting question about loaning and recovering money. Let’s get right to it, but first
Remember you can peruse the pages of the LifeTrain while listening to LifeTrain Radio (see button at RIGHT CORNER OF THIS PAGE). Also, you can go to TUNEIN Radio (http://tunein.com/radio/LifeTrain-Radio-s243778/)and download the app on your tablet or smartphone and listen ANYWHRE in the world!!! Once you download the app search ” LIFETRAIN”.
Chuckie: EC III!
EC III: Mr. Chuckie, what do you have for me?
Chuckie: Well, glad you asked Here’s a very interesting question that should test your legal skills. The passenger wrote: I loaned a family friend $4,000.00 interest free in March because he was about to lose his car and apartment. He was supposed to pay me back in June after receiving some sort of settlement monies. To date, I’ve only been paid $170.00. our kids are friends, but I feel stressed every time I see him because I need my money back and it “seems” that he isn’t taking the situation seriously. How should I address this?
EC III: I think you already know the answer. Matthew Chapt. 5 and 18, as well as 1 Corinthians 6, talks about bringing lawsuits against your brother. However, If someone is ignoring your valid
request for repayment, and is financially able, and/or you wish to pursue the matter, Small Claims Court may be the proper forum to adjudicate this matter. Please note that generally, commercial law requires that agreements whose subject value exceeds $500.00, must be in writing. A good tip is: any agreement where there is an exchange of consideration or “quid pro quo” should be in writing. My hope is that even should you decide to file a Complaint for Money Owed, your friend will then appreciate the seriousness and begin to make payments as promised. The presiding Judge or Magistrate will usually be flexible and continue the case for time a period to enable scheduled payments to be made prior to entering judgment.
Chuckie: That’s a tough one…
EC III: True but, that’s why we have laws. Catch you next week Mr. Conductor
Chuckie: Sure thing Mr. Lawyer.
“For the Lord!”
Are you currently in a place of waiting? Perhaps you are waiting for a job, for healing, for restoration in a relationship, or for wisdom to know where you should go next.That place of waiting is a place we are all familiar with. It’s a place we find ourselves in often over the course of our lives. Though it’s a familiar place and one we know well, we can often grow wearing in our waiting. Sometimes our hearts grow heavy with worry and doubt. Sometimes we might wonder if God has forgotten about us or given up on us.
The Psalmist knew that place of waiting as well. His cry of “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? (13:1) is one that resonates with our own heart. The Psalmist cried out to God in prayer and so should we. If you are in a place of waiting, this prayer is for you.
Father in Heaven,
I come before you with my heart filled with so many different thoughts and feelings. I am tense and uncertain about what I should be doing and where I should go. I feel weak and helpless. Powerless. I am worried about what happens next and whether I have the strength to handle it. Deep down I wonder, how long will I be here? Will I be stuck in this place of waiting forever? And why am I here to begin with? What’s happening, Lord? But most of all, I wonder, where are you? Why haven’t you responded to my cries for help?
But even as I pray that, I know you are right where you’ve always said you would be. You’ve never left me and you will never forsake me. You are not deaf to my cries. In fact, you know the thoughts in my heart before I even think them. You know exactly what is happening, why I am here, and what is going to happen next. All things are in your sovereign care and control. Nothing happens outside your knowledge and will. Not even a hair falls from my head without your willing it to happen. Nothing surprises you or takes you off guard. Including this issue right here, right now. You know why I am here waiting and you have promised to use it for your glory and my good.
Forgive me for all my doubts, worries, and fears. Forgive me for my impatience as I wait in this place. Forgive me for questioning the story you’ve written for me. Forgive me for not seeking your face and allowing the struggles before me to seem greater and stronger than your grace and mercy for me. Cleanse my heart of all that keeps me from you. Help me to see the ways I have tried to be my own god and my own savior. Help me to see the false idols I have erected to worship and serve instead of you. Help me to see the things I am clinging to right now that I think I must have to make me happy and help me to repent and turn from them.
I believe, help me in my unbelief! Help me to remember that it is good to wait for you. As the prophet wrote in Lamentations, “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (3:26). As I wait, help me to remember and dwell on the salvation you’ve provided for me through Christ. Help me to remember that the same grace that saved me at the cross is the same grace that sustains me today. And that same grace is at work in me even now, shaping me into the image of your Son. And no matter what happens, no matter my current circumstances, I am safe in the shelter of your wings. There is nothing that can separate me from your love. Nothing and no one can snatch me from your hands.
Grant me the joy that comes from knowing you and being known by you. Fill my heart with gospel joy. Strengthen me by your word. May the words of the Psalmist be true of me, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” (Psalm 130:5).
Help me to remain faithful in this place of waiting. Help me to serve you and live for you even in this crossroad of my life. Help me to wait as long as it takes.
I pray all these things because of Jesus and in his name,
Keep the faith fellow passengers…..And wait on the lord!
Go forth this week and do GREAT things!
All Aboard! The LifeTrain
Hey passengers here we go with another session with The Attorney, Ewing Carter III. Those of you facing elder care issue will be especially interested in today’s conversation So, with no further ado let’s head back to the Law car and pick Mr. Carter’s brain.
Enjoy the LifeTrain Radio while you peruse this and other “blog” articles!
Chuckie: Attorney Carter! Greetings Sir!
EC III: Hey Chuckie, come on in and sit a spell.
Chuckie: Sir, our passengers really want to know, who was one of the baddest football players ever to come out of Springfield South High School?
EC III: Me.
Chuckie: GONG! Wrong answer. I’ll give you another try. Who was the Captain of your senior year football team.
EC II: Look man, “you” …Ok? Now what is the question, I’m sure the passenger’s time is just as valuable as mine.
Chuckie: Ok, OK, you lawyers and money.
Chuckie: Today’s question chosen of a great many good questions from our loyal passengers is this: My elderly mother is confined to a wheelchair and can’t get around. I’m
the only one who helps her. My brothers live in another state and have their own lives with their families. Can I get something from the court that allows me to take care of her daily needs? I’m fearful that she’s beginning to lose her memory. What can I do?
EC III: If your mother is of “sound mind” which means that her faculties of perception and judgment are not impaired by any mental disorder, then, executing a Power of Attorney would be
helpful in this situation. Because your mother’s mobility is limited, your acting as her attorney- in- fact will enable her to transact her business by and through you. In most cases a General
Durable Power of Attorney is preferred because it remains in effect until revoked and canceled by a subsequent instrument in writing. Also, this power of attorney does not terminate upon disability, incompetence, or incapacity. Basically, your mother’s power of attorney giving you authority to act in her stead is enforceable until her death, or until she revokes it.
However, if your mother now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or any associated form of dementia, then she Does not possess the capacity to give power of attorney. Your mother’s primary physician can provide you an Opinion Letter concerning her mental capacity. Once you have the letter, you should file a petition to find her incompetent by the Courts. Once the Petition is filed and a Hearing scheduled, a determination of competency will be made by the Clerk of Courts. If and when, she is adjudicated incompetent, the Courts will: 1) appoint someone as Guardian of her Person, and 2) appoint someone Guardian of her Estate. This can be the same person or entity, or two different persons or entities. The Guardian of the Person makes decisions concerning health care, housing, daily activities, etc. The Guardian of the Estate makes all financial decisions concerning the person. As always mentioned, consult with an attorney in your locale for specific advice. I hope that helps.
Chuckie: Thanks Attorney Carter, good stuff…as usual. Passengers, for more on this debilitating disease check out my upcoming article with Dr. Dee PhD.
Chuckie: You know Mr. Carter, this was another great session. I’ve now figured out that you are a much better lawyer than a football player.
EC III: Yep…and you are a much better water boy than golfer.
Chuckie: See you on the links dude! And now passengers, for your favorite part of “Legally Speaking!”
You can learn morre about Attorney Carter at the: www.ECARTERLAW.com
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher
Carefully, I wrote my New Year’s Resolutions neatly and secretly in my PC journal, which chronicled the ups and downs of the past years of my life. After looking back over my notes I truly believe there isn’t one reality show on TV now that could top this. My 2013, 12, 11, 10 – heck back to 1993…well you just couldn’t make this stuff up….WHEW! Anyway as Forrest would say:
Well passengers…Here’s this week’s inaugural ride…
whether they’re made on the first of January or any day of the year, are refreshing. It’s a chance to start again—the closest you can get to a “redo” of the past.
In prior years, I made resolutions that were destined to fail. Read one book per week. Write a book. Learn to step.
It wasn’t that the previous resolutions were bad. Rather, I had failed to put any sort of plan in place to help me succeed. I only had a lofty goal, not steps laid out to get me from where I was standing to where I wanted to be.
But this year, I need change. I need a fresh start. I don’t need the seemingly constant stress and the disappointment that plagued me last year to carry over into 2014.
So my resolutions are as succinct as these words: Be happy. Find Peace…and maybe Find love.
And unlike prior years, I’m making a plan for how to transform my resolutions into my life. It felt weird trying to develop a way to be happy. But this year has to be different, and if planning is required, then plan I will. And hey, who says resolutions have to be made on January first?
The plan? Take steps. And keep taking steps—don’t freeze in place.
And I’m going to rid the room of that BIG WHITE Elephant on the living room couch who’s whispering… Yo Chuck-miester what if the “Be happy” thing doesn’t work out?
What if I make all these changes and I don’t end up happy?
What if the decisions I make are wrong…actually wrong? Charlotte is a diffrent place from the DC Beltway life.
What if life is still really stressful and exhausting?
It took me a while to realize what all the what-ifs were really disguising. Superficially, the panic appeared to be the fear of not achieving the resolution.
In reality, though, the fear of not achieving the resolution was a cover-up for the fear of failing as a person. What if I took all the steps to create the life I wanted and it didn’t work out? Would I be left with an unfilled life on top of an unfilled resolution?
Everyone talks about how going after what you truly want takes hard work and perseverance. Few people mention the courage required. It takes courage to forge your own path in a forest overgrown with what-ifs and brimming with the beast of society’s potential judgment.
Being honest with yourself about what you want, whether it’s happiness, a new job, or significant other, is scary. When carving your own path, you don’t know what’s in store for you ahead.
I came close to letting the fear of what-ifs consume me and abandoning my goals along with the little progress I had made in the last few months.
Fittingly, however, the one thing that overpowered all the what-ifs swirling in my thoughts was one single what-if: What if it all worked out?
What if “WE” succeeded in creating the life we envision? It doesn’t need to be a perfect life; every life has a few rough spots or bruises.
And for me that hope, that possibility, that single gnawing question is enough for me to take the leap of faith and go forward with my goals.
That isn’t to say that I now believe unequivocally that my resolution will work out and every moment of my life will be Kodak-worthy. Rather, it’s to say that I now counter each doubt that creeps into my mind with the single rebuke: What if this all works out?
Focusing on the positives of your goal or resolution is a much more powerful motivator than concentrating on the negatives.
So passengers…this week let us acknowledge the negatives as potential pitfalls to be aware of, but then counter them with positives. Truly immerse yourself in the positive potential of success.
If your thoughts of doubt are enough to stop you, then your positive thoughts are enough to help you succeed.
ALL ABOARD!!! The LifeTrain!!!
Hey passengers as part of the LifeTrain’s legal tips segment we are once again honored to have Attorney Ewing Carter III along for today’s ride. Today we will discuss a worker’s compensation question. Let’s head on back to the Legal car and see if we can get the Attorney to help us out.
Chuckie: Good day sir, welcome back aboard.
EC III: Thanks Mr. Conductor, glad to be back aboard.
Chuckie: Sir, I pulled this question out of our ever growing pool. The passenger wrote: I currently work full-time for a major clothing retailer as an Area Supervisor. Last week while helping to
put out some seasonal clothing, I injured my right shoulder lifting a box. The Personnel Mgr. told me to go to the company doctor and get checked out. The doctor took me out of work and ordered an MRI scan of my shoulder. The appointment for the scan is next Tuesday. By next Tuesday I will have been out of work for 11 days. I like and need my job and don’t want to be terminated because of absences. Now my fingers are going numb? What should I do?
EC III: Well passenger, Your injury is covered by workers compensation law. Every state has a Workers Compensation Act that requires all employers with three (3) or more employees to carry workers compensation coverage for employees injured during the course of their employment. Generally, the employer directs the employee’s medical treatment and pays all the bills. When a person is out of work under doctor’s orders for at least seven (7) consecutive days or twenty-one (21) days intermittently, then the employer’s insurance will pay the injured employee 66% or 2/3 of their weekly wage. If, the employer seeks to terminate an injured worker for whatever reason (job layoffs, violations of company policy, etc.), the worker’s compensation benefits are unaffected.
My advice is for you to seek legal counsel because: 1) You are not sure the seriousness of your injury and, 2) You don’t know how long you will be out of work. Counsel can inform you
throughout the entire process in order to ease your worries. Most importantly, you don’t pay any upfront money to your attorney. Also, an added benefit to you is that the
Industrial Commission, which is the governing body over work-related injuries, oversees this entire process. The Commission examines the actions of the employer as well as any attorneys involved for fairness.
Chuckie: Is there a “Pain and Suffering” component to her claim?
EC III: Good question Chuck, no there is no “pain and suffering” component in this claim. Any compensation awarded to the passenger above paying their medical bills and the 2/3rds wage payment (“temporary total disability” money), will be based on a disability rating given by their primary doctor, if applicable.
EC III: How’s that Mr. Conductor, did I make sense.
Chuckie: Good stuff sir. I just happen to know this particular passenger personally so i will get back to you. But, she’s pretty sharp so I am sure you covered this thoroughly enough for her.
Chuckie: Well passengers that’s it for this week’s legally speaking segment. If you would like to submit a question for Attorney Carter just drop it here on the Train (see comments section). Also, Attorney Carter can be reached via his website: http://www.ecarterlaw.com/
I refuse to call myself an African American. He gave his life, so that I could vote….in America, eat at lunch counters…in America, walk into the front door of Malls…in America, sit anywhere there is an open seat in the public transit system…in America. I am a Christian, black man born …in America and most of all, I call myself, what I am, an American! Thank you Dr. King!
Kick it! The Mood…The Music…
Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Although Dr. King’s name was mistakenly recorded as “Michael King” on his birth certificate, this was not discovered until 1934, when his father applied for a passport. He had an older sister, Willie Christine (September 11, 1927) and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel (July 30, 1930 â€“ July 1, 1969). King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind. He entered Morehouse College at age fifteen, skipping his ninth and twelfth high school grades without formally graduating. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) degree in 1951. In September 1951, King began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) on June 5, 1955 (but see the Plagiarism section for controversy regarding this degree).
In 1953, at age 24, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. On December 1,
1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to comply with the Jim Crow laws that required her to give up her seat to a white man. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, urged and planned by E. D. Nixon (head of the Montgomery NAACP chapter and a member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) and led by King, soon followed. (In March 1955, a 15 year old school girl, Claudette Colvin, suffered the same fate, but King did not become involved.) The boycott lasted for 381 days, the situation becoming so tense that King’s house was bombed. King was arrested during this campaign, which ended with a United States Supreme Court decision outlawing racial segregation on all public transport.
King was instrumental in the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, a group created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform. King continued to dominate the organization. King was an adherent of the philosophies of nonviolent civil disobedience as described in Henry David Thoreau’s essay of the same name, and used successfully in India by Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi. King applied this philosophy to the protests organized by the SCLC. In 1959, he wrote The Measure of A Man, from which the piece What is Man?, an attempt to sketch the optimal political, social, and economic structure of society, is derived.
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s success with non-violent activism, he visited the Gandhi family in India in 1959, with assistance from the Quaker group the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The trip to India affected King in a profound way, deepening his understanding of nonviolent resistance and his commitment to Americaâ€™s struggle for civil rights. In a radio address made during his final evening in India, King reflected, â€œSince being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity. In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation.â€
The FBI began wiretapping King in 1961, fearing that Communists were trying to infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement, but when no such evidence emerged, the bureau used the incidental details caught on tape over six years in attempts to force King out of the preeminent leadership position.
King correctly recognized that organized, nonviolent protest against the system of southern segregation known as Jim Crow laws would lead to extensive media coverage of the struggle for black equality and voting rights. Journalistic accounts and televised footage of the daily deprivation and indignities suffered by southern blacks, and of segregationist violence and harassment of civil rights workers and marchers, produced a wave of sympathetic public opinion that made the Civil Rights Movement the single most important issue in American politics in the early 1960s.
King organized and led marches for blacks’ right to vote, desegregation, labor rights and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into United States law with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
King and the SCLC applied the principles of nonviolent protest with great success by strategically choosing the method of protest and the places in which protests were carried out in often dramatic stand-offs with segregationist authorities. Sometimes these confrontations turned violent. King and the SCLC were instrumental in the unsuccessful Albany Movement in Albany, Georgia, in 1961 and 1962, where divisions within the black community and the canny, low-key response by local government defeated efforts; in the Birmingham protests in the summer of 1963; and in the protest in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964. King and the SCLC joined forces with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Selma, Alabama, in December 1964, where SNCC had been working on voter registration for several months.
King, representing SCLC, was among the leaders of the so-called “Big Six” civil rights organizations who were instrumental in the organization of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The other leaders and organizations comprising the Big Six were: Roy Wilkins, NAACP; Whitney Young, Jr., Urban League; A. Philip Randolph, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; John Lewis, SNCC; and James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The primary logistical and strategic organizer was King’s colleague Bayard Rustin. For King, this role was another which courted controversy, since he was one of the key figures who acceded to the wishes of President John F. Kennedy in changing the focus of the march. Kennedy initially opposed the march outright, because he was concerned it would negatively impact the drive for passage of civil rights legislation, but the organizers were firm that the march would proceed.
In late March 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee in support of the black sanitary public works employees, represented by AFSCME Local 1733, who had been on strike since March 12 for higher wages and better treatment. (For example, African American workers, unlike white workers, were not paid when sent home because of inclement weather.)
On April 3, King returned to Memphis and addressed a rally, delivering his “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” address at Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ, Inc. – World Headquarters). King’s flight to Memphis had been delayed by a bomb threat against his plane. In the close of the last speech of his career, in reference to the bomb threat, King said the following:
â€œ And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. â€
King was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, owned by Walter Bailey, in Memphis. Reverend Ralph Abernathy, King’s close friend and colleague who was present at the assassination, swore under oath to the HSCA that King and his entourage stayed at room 306 at the Lorraine Motel so often it was known as the ‘King-Abernathy suite.’ While standing on the motel’s 2nd floor balcony, King was shot at 6:01 p.m. April 4, 1968. The bullet entered through his right cheek smashing his jaw and then traveling down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. According to biographer Taylor Branch, King’s last words on the balcony were to musician Ben Branch (no relation to Taylor Branch) who was scheduled to perform that night at an event King was attending: “Ben, make sure you play Take My Hand, Precious Lord in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.” Friends inside the motel room heard the shots and ran to the balcony to find King on the ground. Local Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles, whose house King was on his way to, remembers that upon seeing King go down he ran into a hotel room to call an ambulance. Nobody was on the switchboard, so Kyles ran back out and yelled to the police to get one on their radios. It was later revealed that the hotel switchboard operator, upon seeing King shot, had had a fatal heart attack and could not operate the phones. King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 7:05 p.m. The assassination led to a nationwide wave of riots in more than 60 cities.
Five days later, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a national day of mourning for the lost civil rights leader. A crowd of 300,000 attended his funeral that same day. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey attended on behalf of Lyndon B. Johnson, who was holding a meeting on the Vietnam War at Camp David. (There were fears that Johnson might be hit with protests and abuses over the war if he attended.) At his widow’s request, King eulogized himself: his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, a recording of his famous ‘Drum Major’ sermon, given on February 4, 1968, was played at the funeral. In that sermon he makes a request that at his funeral no mention of his awards and honors be made, but that it be said that he tried to “feed the hungry”, “clothe the naked”, “be right on the [Vietnam] war question”, and “love and serve humanity”. Per King’s request, his good friend Mahalia Jackson sang his favorite hymn, “Take My hand, Precious Lord” at his funeral.