|Freeman told the audience that purpose is what motivates human beings. He said 15 percent of financial success is because of technical competence. Eighty-five percent of financial success is based on interpersonal success.
The need for civil rights was King's motivation, Freeman said, noting that he remained "firm and resolute." No one stripped him of his dignity or poise.
"The need for understanding and respect becomes more apparent," Freeman said. "We get a sense of how this can be all applied."
Freeman said that a more diverse group is more productive. He said dealing with differences presents challenges in business and personal lives. He called them built-in challenges.
"There are challenges between 20 and 30-year-olds. They both have different perspectives. One's a 286 and the other's a Pentium 7," Freeman said, using the analogy of different types of computer chips.
Freeman took an example from his own personal life. When his kids turned 15, he said he gave them the option to travel anywhere they wanted to in the world. But prior to turning 15, they had to do library research about where they would travel.
"Mark Twain said 'travel is fatal to ignorance, prejudice and bigotry," Freeman said.
Freeman said that as a result of his kids' travel they will be more open minded about countries and people, having seen other parts of the world.
He is president of the Freeman Institute. He also is a professional counselor, success coach to executives and a behavioral analyst. He motivates and mentors pro-athletes.
Freeman was born in Maine and raised in Alberta, Canada. He currently lives in Maryland.
Acting Laboratory Director Pete Nanos referenced the importance Martin Luther King's work had on the entire nation. His comments came after a brief answer and discussion session by Freeman.
"Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream Speech' spoke to mainstream Americans," Nanos said. "Everyone understood wanting to have a better life, wanting better for their children. That speech was the turning point in how the rest of America viewed Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement."
According to Diversity Office (DVO) Acting Directorr Tim
Babicke, Nanos had a meeting already scheduled during the time Freeman was slated to speak. Babicke said Nanos made it a point to be a Freeman's lecture.
Freeman's talk was sponsored by the Diversity Affirmative Action Board with assistance from the African American Diversity Working Group. The Lab is closed next Monday, Jan. 20, in observance of the national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
-- Michael Carlson