Mountain Top Experience


In the waining hours and minutes of February, I’ve been thinking about some of the great leaders that have shaped the world, our nation and my life. There are tons of memorable speeches and moments I can recall, but there’s a saying that has resonated with me over the years.

The statement i speak of is “mountain top experience.” Martin Luther King, III, used that expression to describe his visit to India on the fiftieth anniversary of his father’s trip. The elder King had made the trip to help him further understand Mahatma Gandhi’s successful tactics of passive resistance. “This was truly a mountain-top type of experience for me,” the younger King said. “I remember my mother, sharing this very special experience with us children in the family of how moving this experience was for her. … Now I truly understand that it’s one thing for a parent to share the experience, it’s another thing for you to be physically at the site and experience it for oneself.”

Martin Luther King, III repeated this saying numerous times throughout his life, but most importantly in his last spoken message.  Insane if you think about what he is communicating.  When you think about it, in our daily lives admits the struggles, the climb to the top of the mountain isn’t particularly inspiring. Life is like that. It’s more difficult to be motivated during the daily “climb” The mountain-top experiences are a great reward for a hard climb, but the real value comes from the climb. It’s during the climb that we really develop the strength and stamina for the next challenge. There is a natural tendency to avoid the climb. It’s important for us to see the climb as an opportunity to become stronger and more capable.

Matt Knisely

Matt Knisely is an Emmy Award–winning visual storyteller, creative director, and author who loves telling stories of the extraordinary. Make sure you check out his book Framing Faith, it helps connect the seemingly unconnected, see the beauty right in front of us, and revealing how to be present in the moment.

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