Everybody Can Be Great

There was an inspiring quote from Martin Luther King in an advertisement for Dodge Ram Trucks during yesterday’s Superbowl. The quote was inspiring as was the sermon it came from. But if you take time to read the entire sermon you’ll find (as you probably already guessed) that King did not preach that sermon to sell trucks. If you read the entire sermon, you’ll find an argument for being content with the material things we have and striving for the greater things of Christ Jesus.

It’s well worth your time to read the entire sermon, but here’s the part that was quoted in the commercial yesterday:

And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important— wonderful. If you want to be recognized— wonderful. If you want to be great— wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That’s a new definition of greatness.

… By giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir. Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Strive for greatness today.

Link to the entire sermon: http://stanford.io/2GPnuSZ


Martin Luther King, “The Drum Major Instinct,” in A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. Clayborne Carson and Peter Holloran (New York: Intellectual Properties Management in Association with Warner Books, 1998).