I’m sure you hear a lot about having good role models, maybe even to the point of being a little tired of it. This article was originally written in January, on an American holiday celebrating one of the greatest role models ever.
Most Americans, and many throughout the world, have probably heard about Martin Luther King, Jr. before. But, today I want to talk about how he can be a great role model in helping you become more confident and popular.
He Had Courage
Standing up for yourself and your values are both high value, popular traits. King stood up for his values of equality for all even in the face of extreme opposition. He was hated by many, but beloved by countless more (his haters don’t have a holiday named after them). At school, you should never compromise your values just to fit in. In most cases, even those who disagree with you will admire you, so long as you aren’t overbearing or negative about your positions. Speaking of…
He Used Power, Not Force
Many people resort to force to get their opinions heard (maybe even some of your teachers). “Force” behaviors and attitudes include shame, guilt, apathy, and fear.
Not Martin Luther King, Jr. He used true power: courage, love, and peace to persuade, which came through his example of non-violence. Sometimes you may feel like you have to belittle others or even bully them to be heard. You’ll be heard, but only briefly, before being hated. Be confident and stick to your values. But, also be kind and understanding. Be cool. Don’t resort to force, whether physical or emotional.
Popularity is ultimately a numbers game, winning over as many people as possible. Martin Luther King didn’t care about popularity, but he did bring in anyone willing to help his cause. He didn’t insist his supporters be of one religion or race or political position. Don’t restrict your friends to one group of people like the wealthier ones or the jocks. Who knows? Maybe the person you thought was a jerk or beneath you is actually a pretty cool person.
So, on Martin Luther King Day, and every day, I hope you can follow his path and stand up for your values while also being cool and inclusive towards other people.