Facing Challenges and Controversy

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial - Washington D.C.

Image by ehpien via Flickr

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Last week marked the dedication of the long overdue Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. I thought it only fitting to write this week on one of my favorite Dr. King quotes and given the current environmental, political and economic climate, this quote is really timely for us today.

Environmentally, there are hurricanes and earthquakes on the east coast and many parts of the country have faced severe flooding. Here is Texas we are facing the worst drought in the state’s recorded history. In the past 10 months, San Antonio has had barely 3 inches of moisture and the Austin area only 4 inches. The last I heard, we’ve had something like 53 days of 100 degree temperatures and other than my okra crop, my vegetable garden is but a distant memory.

Politically we are facing an incredible lack of leadership from both sides of the aisle. Ethics in government has become non-existent. The public is being fed one big lie after another and the news media is a more than willing accomplice. Trouble in the Middle East continues and we are still losing the precious lives of military men and women on a daily basis with no real end in sight.

Economically we have now had nearly 2 years of over 9% unemployment (after being promised if we would only pass the massive stimulus package it would never go above 8%), we’ve added over $4,000,000,000,000.00 (that’s $4 trillion if you can’t count that many zeros) to the national debt, gold has surpassed the $1,800 per ounce mark, the stock market has been on its biggest roller coaster ride ever and it has become almost impossible to go to the grocery store without dropping a C-note.

Yes, we can be certain we are in times of challenge and controversy. So how will we measure ourselves in this time of challenge and controversy? Individually we can’t do a thing about the environment, politics or the economy, but the one thing that we do have 100% control over is our selves and our measure in these times of challenge and controversy.

Dr. King led by example. He taught us well through his shining example of standing firm in our beliefs and in taking up a cause because it was the right thing to do. Ultimately he paid for his steadfast convictions with his life, yet his legacy lives on and will do so for generation to come.

We certainly face an endless array of challenges and controversy today. My dad used to say, “Every coach is a great coach when their team is winning.” That same sentiment can be applied today. Everyone can be their best when times are good, but when we face adversity, or as Dr King called it, “challenge and controversy”, that’s when we make our true measure. That’s when we have to reach down deep inside to still be able to perform at our highest level. That’s when we must define the person we truly are. What kind of measure will you make in these difficult times?


Monty Rainey is a District Manager with over 14 years in the self storage industry currently overseeing 21 stores in the Austin & San Antonio, TX area. He is also a leadership coach and public speaker. For a free consultation, please contact Monty at 830-743-2139 or visit his website at http://www.montyrainey.com .

About montyrainey

Public Speaker and District Manager. Mission: To empower and inspire others professionally, personally and spiritually to elevate their lives to a higher level.
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