From “The Drum Major Instinct”
If you want to be important – wonderful. If you want to be recognized –
wonderful. If you want to be great – wonderful. But recognize that he who is
greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s your new definition of
greatness. And this morning, the thing that I like about it . . . by giving that
definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great. Because
everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You
don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have
to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know
Einstein’s’ theory of relativity to serve, you don’t have to know the second
theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of
grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Monday and Wednesday this week, as part of the New Mexico Municipal League’s Municipal Officials Leadership Institute (MOLI), I had the pleasure of facilitating leadership training for 10 mayors and council members.
All the mayors and council members were from small rural towns with populations of under 10,000.
They were hungry to learn. Their commitment to become better elected officials was inspiring. They had taken a week of their time away from their workplaces and families to come to Santa Fe.
Some in the group were well educated. Others weren’t. None had gone to school to learn how to be an elected official, until now, until MOLI. The lines from Dr. King that struck me the most were: “You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.”
They all were motivated by a desire to make their communities better places to live.