Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke to students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967.
Dr. King provides a powerful reminder of what we should seek to accomplish and be. Regardless of what field we are in or what sized project we are working on, we should it with excellence. Our contributions should be that which we provide and the excellence we brought to it. Additionally, he gives us examples and a call to not stop. We may have great inner and outer obstacles but others have pressed forward and so should we. When things don’t go as planned or as our ego seeks, don’t stop. Keep moving. Shift to what you can do and keep moving. Keep bringing excellence to the discharge of your tasks and your creations.
3. Dr. King quotes Isaac Watts (“Were I so tall to reach the pole…”).
4. See the full text of the Langston Hughes poem Mother to Son, here.
5. Much of this speech is based upon a presentation Dr. King made ten years earlier. Read about it at the Center for Faith and Culture website (“Whatever Your Life’s Work Is, Do It Well. Martin Luther King Jr. on Work”), full text here.
6. Watch the full Philadelphia speech here.