Kevin Durant just won the 2014 NBA MVP award, and in his acceptance speech, he started with what I consider my new mantra of the last year or so. I’ve embedded the full speech below because I think it’s a great listen-
Last year, that same message was brought forth by the Chicago Bears Pro-Bowl WR Brandon Marshall who, after getting fined $10k for wearing green cleats, tweeted this-
Football is my platform, not my purpose.
When I listen to BMarsh and KD, I hear two people who continue to use their talent and ability to gain a stage in front of the masses, and then redirect attention to what’s more important than themselves. In Marshall’s case, he’s driving everyone to have conversations about mental health awareness. With Durant, when he reached one of the pinnacles of his athletic careers and had one of the brightest spotlights shining on him, he took everyone’s attention and, in humility, directed it elsewhere. He thanked God, he individually called out each of his teammates on their impact on his life, and honored his parents.
It’s always encouraging to see people take their fame and status and use it for a greater cause. The sad thing is when we only expect those in ‘higher positions’ than us to do that. We might not have the same amount of eyes on us, but people are still watching and listening. We might not be winning awards and getting national recognition, but that shouldn’t hold us back.
This world is our stage. We can choose to simply use it to showcase ourselves, or let it be our platform for a greater purpose.
We can take these guys’ example, and replace “football” and “basketball” with our own talent/ability/position/status/network. If we are acutely aware of our life, we will recognize those moments when we have the opportunity to make a statement. And at that point we’re left with a choice- will I take this time to lift myself up or someone/something else?