Words to Live By

The young winner of an essay contest in Plantation captures the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Brooke Harter may only be in seventh grade, but the student at Our Savior Lutheran School in Plantation is proving to be wise beyond her years.

Harter recently won the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay-writing contest hosted by the Plantation’s Parks & Recreation Department. The contest invited students in middle school and high school to write an essay based on this quote by Dr. King: “Everyone has the power for greatness, not fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.”

Here is Harter’s winning essay:

Dr. King said, “Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.” It means to me when you help others you have the feeling of greatness. You don’t have fame, which just means that people know you, but you are happy in your heart. For example, greatness is like how you feel when you do something like mowing the lawn for a neighbor if they are in the hospital, or even just giving someone a hug if they are feeling sad. When Dr. King says everyone has the power for greatness, he means that everyone can help someone in some way.

A person doesn’t have to be famous to make a change. Small actions can easily change the way someone feels or impact the direction of their life in a positive way. I think these words meant to Dr. King that when he saw a problem, he wanted to fix it. Even though his actions made him “famous,” his intent was to change the conditions of the society. He saw a problem, developed a dream, and took action. Through his series of non-violent protests and speeches, he began to change a lot of minds in the U.S. and most parts of the world about racism.

We can all help others in our own way, and we don’t need lots of money to help others. When we help others, it helps our personality grow. It also helps us to be closer to our community. And it also gives us a feeling of teamwork and greatness. If we walk in his footsteps, continuing to learn the lessons Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put before us, maybe we can be the change that the world needs now.

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