Freedom and Respect for All

Freedom and Respect for All

One week from today is the day we set aside as a nation to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK). As you know, King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement. He believed in civil rights for all, peaceful means of protest and service to one’s community. The latter is also the reason the day is set aside as the MLK Day of Service in our country. For those of you who take advantage of the day off to serve others, I thank you. There will be opportunities within our community to celebrate both his legacy and his commitment to service.

Dr. King’s legacy can teach us so much. He believed in the common good, faith in fellow man, the need to speak up against tyranny, and that justice, democracy and human kindness would surely prevail over cruelty and prejudice. This one day set aside to celebrate his legacy is not enough. His widow noted in the Washington Post in 1983, "The holiday must be substantive as well as symbolic. It must be more than a day of celebration. Let this holiday be a day of reflection, a day of teaching nonviolent philosophy and strategy, a day of getting involved in nonviolent action for social and economic progress." I encourage you to check out this link from the Teaching Tolerance Project. It sets forth a plethora of ideas to make her wish come true:

MLK left our world a better place, albeit not a perfect place. Even after all these years, we seek to fulfill his dream where all people are respected regardless of skin color, wealth, gender, abilities or disabilities, and any other characteristics that make us individuals. Freedom and respect for all. As a nation, we have work yet to do. As individuals, we seek to be culturally proficient. As educators, we model and teach these important principles to future generations. Thank you for sharing Dr. King’s messages this week, next week and every day of the year.

Take care. Be safe. Stay well.