Monday, January 18, 2010

Thinking about MLK and Everyday Heroes Today…

By Joanna Kulesa

People amaze me. Famous and fearless leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, and everyday heroes like Wesley Autrey, a construction worker and Navy veteran jumping onto the tracks of an oncoming subway train and saving the life of a stranger. Whether fighting for civil rights on the world stage, or acting quickly to preserve a stranger’s life, people are amazing.

I continue to watch in awe the aftermath of the epic earthquake in Haiti; more reminders of people’s capacity for kindness as well as tremendous cruelty. Whether we’re witnessing looters or online scammers looking to profit from others’ generosity, the negative is always outweighed by the human capacity for good, in my view. Neighbor helping neighbor on the ground in Haiti, and whole communities around the world mobilizing to send food, medicine and supplies. The powerful lessons that tragedies offer are astounding.

True, civil rights and human tragedy are not very cheery subjects for a blog from a PR firm. However, it’s hard to write about “the importance of social media,” or how clients “can better get into the business press” when there are so many bigger issues to reflect on this Martin Luther King Day. Today, I can take this time to reflect and donate more to the Red Cross. Tomorrow I'll be back to pitching, promoting, and building clients into name brands. That’s okay, right?

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