A Message for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
On Monday, our nation will honor one of its most beloved and influential citizens—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through his strength of character, perseverance, and courage, Dr. King proved to be one of our country’s greatest and most inspiring advocates for peace. His compelling words encourage us to believe in the profound potential within the human spirit to construct a world of compassion, peace, and justice. His powerful actions call us to act on our deepest convictions through recognizing our interdependency and acting out of a heart for justice and service to others.
That is why, in 1994, Congress designated this holiday a day of service—“a day on, not a day off.” It is intended to be a day on which people feel compelled to take time away from school and work for the purpose of contributing positively to their communities in some way. In this way, we may collectively honor Dr. King’s efforts through working together toward a stronger and more peaceful future in our own families, communities, and the world.
Too often in today’s busy world, the meaning of this day gets lost. The added day of rest, understandably, becomes a welcome repose and helps in the regaining of a sense of balance in all life’s responsibilities. It becomes an opportunity to retreat from the world rather than engage with it. But may we remember this day that positive contributions to society do not always need to be monumental acts of charity. They can be small acts of kindness. A phone call to a loved one. Shoveling a neighbor’s walk. Speaking (and typing) kindness and encouragement to others. The potential within the human spirit for the peace and compassion that Dr. King so beautifully exemplified exists even in the smallest acts—the ‘everyday’ moments that can be quickly forgotten or go unnoticed by those who do them, but remain vivid in the memories of those whose lives they touch.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A few updates
Dr. King’s convictions align so beautifully with those of Dr. Montessori, which is why students at HMS learn about the importance of community, service to others, and the importance of peace.