Monday, January 15, 2007

MLK Day -- A Day of Service

I have always held a special reverence and enormous amount of respect for Dr Martin Luther King and the superhuman efforts that he exerted for Civil Rights in this country.

I was raised in rural Oklahoma and went to a segregated grade school in the early 1950s. Then we moved to a town in the Pacific Northwest, whose black population was literally so small you could count them on two hands. Consequently, like so many of my peers, the opportunities that we had to interact with African-Americans on any kind of equal footing were basically nonexistent. It really wasn't until I went into the military that I had the opportunity to work along side of and form friendships with black people. And the respect that I had for Dr King forced me to put aside the racial stereotypes and thoughtless prejudices that I had been raised with and allowed me to form those friendships.

The MLK Day of Service is a terrific way to honor the spirit and the work of Dr King. It's probably a little late for this year, but next year mark your calendars to have A Day On, Not a Day Off on Martin Luther King Day. Opportunities to make a difference in your community are there, and all it takes is a few dedicated individuals to change the world.

3 Comments:

fjb said...

"Opportunities to make a difference in your community are there, and all it takes is a few dedicated individuals to change the world."

You said it, brother! Dr. King's message is universal, not just in the States, but all over the world.

Carla said...

Well said, thank you!

drainbamage said...

For the past couple of decades I went from a blue collar worker (logging) to a white collar (computers) and from not knowing MLK and realizing the great man he actually was. I was not raised in the south so my white butt did not grow up with the extreme racial stereotypes, I was just unaware.

I have worked through the "day on", I never got it off when I was a blue collar worker to actually having MLK day off as a white collar worker. At first I just spent the day as another 3 day weekend. Later on I did help others, not like you Farnsworth changing bed pans and other great acts of kindness but I did volunteer at things besides tipping back a cold one.

I guess I have came full circle now as I spend enough time helping others throughout the year. For me it is a day off, a day to think and reflect on what MLK is really about. And to that end I must say you spout the mans word, fucking get your ass to work on a day you should be having off.

To celebrate the great lessons that MLK stood for, to further your knowledge along his wisdom, that is what we should be doing on MLK day. So when I start hearing you quote our ex governor in those long boring emails about what the Hell I should be doing with my paid day off, I just relax, smile and read up on what MLK would do with the rest of the year.