“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lives a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. in his speech “Facing the Challenge of a New Age” Address at the Institute of Non-violence and Social Change, Montgomery, Alabama, December 1956
I have always loved this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. I’ve come to think about it and appreciate it even more as my son grew up and it became clear that he was not going to be able to go to college full-time and instead entered the workforce. He is at a position that would be considered a menial job, but I am as proud of him as if he were in the most prestigious position imaginable. His character is good. His heart is in the right place. He is honest, trustworthy, and giving. So here’s a salute to all those street sweepers, painters, composers, poets, and stockmen like my Josh pushing carts in from the parking lot. You do it well, and there’s more to honor than a title and position.