First and foremost I think that it’s important for us to stop and reflect on what it truly means to be a man. With majority of our young men dropping into crime and violence, as well as dropping out of school, it’s important that we understand how each and every one of us can make a difference in changing this pattern in their minds. In one of Dr. King’s speeches he challenges the young men of our society to rethink their understanding and definition on what it means to be a man. Dr. King stated that, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” In this statement it is implied but not expressed that the belief of manhood is not defined by your outward maleness, but by the development of your character on the inside.
If everything in your life was perfect or if you wasn’t being challenged then you would be a man. As the great Dr. King said, “The true test is how you respond and react to the challenges in your own life, as well as the challenges that are around you on a day to day base. You can accept this challenge from Dr. King because he was not just a man of his word he also practiced what he preached. Dr. King not only devoted his life to this nation and the world, Dr. King ultimately gave his life because he wouldn’t accept the suffering, inhumanity as well as the injustice that was around him. Dr. King was not just a man in his home; he was a man in this nation, this nation, this world and his community.
He tried to stop the suffering that he saw around him, he took a stand when he witnessed injustice, he spoke out while others remained silent in the mist of discrimination and segregation, and he offered his love when majority was consumed by hatred for black people. Today as we look upon the landscape of Gary Indiana, you will realize that you are faced with the same test that Dr. King passed.
There is a crisis of violence that is threatening the safety of every community. There are children who don’t want to try to reach their full potential in school or in life. Dr. King deeply believed that your greatest and highest obligation is your service to other people. Dr. King saw service as a testament of your religion. His challenge for you is that you must be committed in serving others. As well as being committed in serving the youth of your community and others.