Ordinary to you: Amazing to someone else
by Louise D'Allura on October 11th, 2014

I recently read a blog post written by James Clear on the story of Nichelle Nichols, an African American actress who played the role of Lieutenant Uhura, the Chief Communications Officer for over 40 years on television and movie episodes of 'Star Trek'.  In the article he shares how a chance conversation with her 'greatest fan' Dr Martin Luther King Jr changed the way she perceived her TV role that was 'going no where'.

It was such an inspiring article and I was moved to share it with you because literally after reading that article I met friends for lunch at a local Gluten Free Grain Free - cafe on Queensland's Sunshine Coast - Husk and Honey and I kid you not - staring at me on the wall was an article about Dr Martin Luther King Jr's Walk on Washington!!!!!!!  (see photo below!)

I took that as a sign I had to write and share this wonderful article about this amazing actress.

I found it so encouraging and a wonderful reminder that what's most important is our attitude and the way we show up every day.  So often we have no idea of the ripple effect that we cause just by going about our work and day.  We have no clue if we are inspiring people or making a difference in their day just by doing what we always do.  We might THINK it is insignificant - to someone else the smallest action might be significant!!!!


This was my favourite line from James' blog post about Nichelle Nichols - Exhaust Your Gifts: Lessons on Living a Meaningful Life from Nichelle Nichols.

In Nichelle's  mind the 'Star Trek' role was going no where - having been largely written out of the script during the first season.  So convinced of this she had even written her letter of resignation the day before attending a fundraiser for the Civil Rights Movement in Beverly Hills, California, where she met her "greatest fan" - Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.  Each week his family loved watching the show!

When she told him she was leaving the show he helped her see that her role was more than what she thought it was - in her mind - just as a 'simple cast member, as an actress with little impact and even fewer lines.'  Dr Martin Luther King Jr explained: 

"You have changed the face of television forever. This is not a black role. This is not a female role. It can be filled by a woman of any color, a man of any color. This is a unique role and a unique point in time that breathes the life of what we are marching for: equality.  This is why we are marching. We never thought we’d see this on TV.” 

Years later Whoopi Goldberg shared with Nichelle Nichols that when she was 9 years old and saw Nichelle on 'Star Trek' she knew from that moment that she could become anything she wanted to be.

So often we don't realise just by doing what we do, we inspire others.  It doesn't matter what role you're playing - worker/ business owner/ friend/ kind stranger!  

Now, I would love to hear from you! In the comments below, tell me what you think about how simply being ourselves can inspire others?  I would love hear it!

If you’ve found this article of interest, please share it with your friends!  I really do appreciate you taking the time to read and share ;)

Click here to keep reading the article by James Clear:
Exhaust Your Gifts: Lessons on Living a Meaningful Life from Nichelle Nichols.

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