King’s most appealing feature was his unerring willpower. “Will” has a lot of clout: one with too much will is off-putting, stubborn even, but the right amount produces a timeless leader. Defined by trusty Google, willpower is the “the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action.” In King’s case, his actions were a model for the world in equality & human justice.
Coincidentally, several articles came out recently concerning the Millennial Generation (mine) and the fears our elders had for the future. Generally speaking, Millennials are categorized as spoiled & materialistic, narcissistic, lazy and disinterested, or simply, the antithesis of a leader. Reading these while also hearing about the legacy King left behind (I assume, with the hope that his methods would be used forevermore), was startling.
Heckles raised, I found the opposite to be true. Ron Fournier of The Atlantic shared data in his article “The Outsiders: How Can Millennials Change Washington If They Hate It?” defending the Millennial’s steadfast commitment to community service, versus political service. Furthermore, Fournier found Millennials are more likely to volunteer into adulthood. Why? Millenials are more gratified by their community service than a salary, a study by the Government Business Council said.
With the introduction of instant gratification, technology and a fast-paced society (all purported as Millennial evils), my peers and I have become more results-driven than ever. We’re closer to King’s mode of operandi than expected because our successes are directly in-line with our actions. In a political era that is stymied by party tensions and bureaucracy (fueled in my opinion, by an overdose of will), Millennials participate through volunteerism; they interact with the people around them to be a force for change.
King’s will was founded by his love for his community, first as a reverend, and next as a world-shaker. No office appointment or title other than his fervor for change led his movement — and the Millennials are following wisely in his footsteps.