Dr. Howard Thurman, a well-known educator, theologian, author and philosopher of the esteemed Morehouse College was known for having said “Over the heads of her students, Morehouse holds a crown that she challenges them to grow tall enough to wear.” This profound statement is true for all of us. We each have the opportunity to grow into something remarkable or to relinquish that possibility and never actually achieve our purpose.
At first glance, I’m sure most would associate the words of Dr. Thurman with fame or wealth because of the significance these things have in our modern society. Popularity is often equated with power and social influence. Rightfully so. More often than not, these two work together especially in our more recent social media/celebrity driven society. There is nothing inherently wrong with either but this idea coined by Dr. Thurman was created long before opportunities of wealth and fame could be amassed with the ease that they now can.
Knowing the times in which he articulated this principle, as well as factoring in the mission of Morehouse College to build leaders defined by disciplined minds, character, and service, I think the crown represented regality in its truest sense. Kings and queens of old were responsible for the well-being of the people under their care. The great ones reigned having what was best for others constantly at the forefront of their minds.
While we may not be rulers in the political sense, as adults, we each have a network of people who depend on us. How are we impacting their lives for the better? Even the most obscure person is influencing someone whether it be a family member, peers in your social circle, a sect in your community, colleagues at work, whomever. Are you walking worthy of that influence? Are you rising to the crown set above your head? Are you realizing your deepest potential to love others and leave lasting memories of benevolence? These are all questions I ask myself on a regular basis. I ask them because I am ever so grateful for all that I have been blessed with. I also ask them because I fundamentally understand that I have been blessed to be a blessing.
Life and the relationships we gain along the way, really require one thing of us…That we grow into the crown above our head.