As I was talking with some friends and family about the fact that there is no school Monday, I realized that the importance of why we have Martin Luther King day is often forgotten. You have an extra day to sit around (yay), but we truly understand the significance? Many of us don’t take the time to think about it. There are many great people, scientists, presidents, doctors, etc. that don’t get to claim a day of fame every single year. Yes, you can thank Dr. King for an extra day off each January, but there is much more we can be thanking him for as well.
So where am I going with this? I want everyone to stop and think why this day is special. Seriously, sit in awe and think about how one man was able to be so influential without the use of unnecessary violence. He used his education, power of words, found common ground with all people and taught important lessons about racism and equality. So yes, the name Martin Luther King Jr. is famous throughout America for his civil rights activism and leadership in seeking racial equality, but what I’m most impressed by is his choice of loving the enemy and working through issues with peace. It is so simple to hate, but he didn’t. This man accomplished much.
Dr. King served in many roles such as minister, leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Nobel Peace Prize winner, speaker, father, leader, activist and more. From leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott to the 1963 March on Washington, he fought for freedom.
I had little knowledge about why he received the Nobel Peace Prize and decided to look into to it. It was inspiring to read that the reason he was awarded the prize was for working to resolve conflicts and racial discrimination through this nonviolence. Martin Luther King Jr. led by example and showed that progress can be made without causing anger, fear and destruction. A great snippet from the nomination signed by the Board of Directors described the way he treated others as with “the dignity and worth of the human person, regardless of race.”
Working to resolve conflicts with nonviolence, education and awareness is something I encourage you all incorporate into your lives. It has been decades since his death, but his example should live on.
So sit back in your PJs, drink some coffee and reflect on Dr. King! He is great inspiration for us all for it takes just one person to make a lasting impact. I encourage you all to think about your skills as well. How can you make a difference on our ever changing world?
Want some more reading? Here are some awesome links about the holiday.