There is a very real and tangible power in diversity, and never has this been more apparent to me then now, reflecting on this past Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
I thought about a leader who began a purposeful movement to dissolve racial divides and ensure equal rights and opportunities for all of the world’s citizens. The movement initiated by Martin Luther King Jr. continues today, fueled by the enduring compassion and commitment of leaders in all of our communities.
As a Sikhcess volunteer, I have had the unique privilege to serve alongside some of those leaders who draw from the inspiration of visionaries such as Martin Luther King Jr. and are actively shaping a wave of change that transcends cultural, religious, and economic divides. During Sacramento’s Feed the Homeless campaign in April 2008, over fifty volunteers from diverse college campuses, congregations, and communities converged at the West Sacramento Sikh Temple. These leaders (of all ages!) came from all walks of life, but brought with them a shared vision of creating a better world and a shared enthusiasm for serving their community. The result was truly incredible. In just two days, 1,300 meals were prepared and delivered to the Sacramento homeless and hungry.
Since the April Feed the Homeless campaign, Sikhcess volunteers in Sacramento have joined together over and over again to give back to their community—during Operation Backpack in July to provide children in need with backpacks and school supplies, during the Community Clean-up in September to clean and revitalize a community park, and during yet another Feed the Homeless pledge last November.
For me, Sikhcess has become an example of what can be achieved when a group of like-minded individuals come together to make a positive impact on their communities, and I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to be a part of it.
What I have learned from leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and the leaders in my own community is that the ones that have the most impact—the ones that tear down barriers and create social change—are those who immerse themselves in the world. They are the ones who engage themselves in their communities and create lasting bonds with the people whom they serve. They are the ones who transform differences into an open dialogue of ideas, beliefs, and opportunities. We too can also become these leaders learning from their selfless actions and community commitment.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on community and diversity as we reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.
By Deep K. Jodhka