With all due respect to one of my greatest heroes, I think he would have approved of me asking this question.When I was young I always had holes in my socks.  I hid them in shame.  The youngest of a large Northern Ontario family, most of what I owned was a hand me down, from siblings and neighbours.  Like most kids in my situation, I often had the experience of an older school mate teasing me that I was wearing something that was once theirs.

So although I was raised on the notion that we are all special, somehow “special” didn’t seem so special at all.   It felt weak and powerless.  I knew without asking, that many of the kids around me felt much the same way.

When we spoke of great leaders of our time, Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., everyone around me, spoke of them as though they were somehow different than us, greater than us, people to be revered.   Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined myself as someone with the power to sway the thinking of society or create great change.   Such thought would be sheer arrogance.

But I am certain, without confirmation, that Martin Luther King Jr. spent more than a few days in his life with holes in his socks.  He was once a child, like me. Then a man, with the problems of a man.  He made mistakes.  He sometimes offended people without intention.  His humanity was part of what made him so magnetic.   Having been inspired by the work of Mohandas Ghandi, I think King would smile fondly at reference to the holes in his socks.

Gandhi was another such man.  By choice, Ghandi wore homespun.  Many would tell you that he made this choice that the people could see him as one of them.  The more profound truth that Ghandi taught with this guesture was simply this – even a person in simple homespun could be Ghandi.