KECTIL QUOTE OF THE DAY
And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And every now and then I ask myself, “What is it that I would want said?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Writes His Own Funeral Speech
After a month of studying the legacy of Dr. King, we come to the end. On February 4, 1968, in the year Dr. King died, he delivered a sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church (Atlanta, Georgia) called “The Drum Major Instinct”. He said that there is deep down within all of us a Drum Major Instinct – a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life… There comes a time that a Drum Major Instinct can become destructive…it causes one’s personality to become distorted…we will end up day in and day out trying to deal with our ego problem by boasting. Have we ever heard people that really become sickening because they just sit up all the time talking about themselves? And they just boast and boast and boast, and that’s the person who has not harnessed the Drum Major Instinct. The Drum Major Instinct can cause us to spend beyond our means, lie about who we know, gossip and to push others down to push ourselves up.
Dr. King said, “Yes, don’t give up this instinct. It’s a good instinct if you use it right… if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Keep feeling the need for being important. If you want to be important – wonderful. If you want to be great – wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness.”
Dr. King then did the unimaginable. He told us what to say at his funeral. Here is where the lesson is provided for Kectil Colleagues.
Please read Dr. King’s self-eulogy below. And then please write your own funeral speech. What do you want people to say about you? Then create a life worthy of your own speech. Sometimes the people who have the most acute sense of death are those who get the most done, because they know they are “on the clock” and better work fast, and if they write their own speech, they know what they are working toward.
Dr. King….In His Own Words
Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life’s final common denominator – that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don’t think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, “What is that I would want said?” And I leave the word to you this morning.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize – that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards – that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.
I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.
I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.
I want to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that’s all I want to say.