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Pausing to Remember Dr. King

January 20, 2014

Have you ever gotten the dinner party question? You know, the “if you could invite any five people living or dead to dinner, who would you invite and why?” question. I work in education, I’ve gotten this one or used this one a lot. One of the people who has always stayed consistent on my list is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (the other consistent one is Thomas Jefferson, wouldn’t that make for interesting dinner conversation).

"Life's most persistent and urgent question" Martin Luther King Jr. via Pinterest

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question” Martin Luther King Jr.
via Pinterest

I have always, since I was little, been in awe of Dr. King. As I learned more about him that led to an interest in the Civil Rights movement, which led to taking a number of college courses as electives  that were taught by leaders from the Civil Rights movement, and a life-long love of reading books and visiting sites around the topic. Thanks again to Gail and Anna for sticking with me as I drug them through the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham a few years ago.

"The function of education..." Martin Luther King Jr.  via Pinterest

“The function of education…” Martin Luther King Jr.
via Pinterest

Yes, I liked his strong stance on non-violence, his patience, his bravery, his amazing talent for oratory and his determination. But what I love most, as I’m sure most people do, was his strong belief and desire to help others and to reach out to others. Every year I attend a breakfast on the Friday before the MLK holiday honoring the memory of Dr. King. I have to give my alma mater credit, they have been honoring the memory of Dr. King each year long before it was popular to do so in the south. Especially in my state, where it was only agreed to have an MLK day if we also had a Confederate Memorial Day. It’s a complicated topic down here, that I still don’t know how to react/ respond to. Anyway, every year at this breakfast there is singing, remembering of Dr. King and a great speaker. But the part I like the most is when we all participate in litany for Dr. King. Where we all ask, “what are you doing for others?” And isn’t what we should all be asking… not just on this day honoring Dr. King, but everyday? Shouldn’t we be trying to help others every day? I kept the program from the breakfast this year and I tacked the litany up on the bulletin board in my office, where I can see it when I pick up my phone, it is my goal this year to not only do more to serve others, but to be more intentional about it throughout the year.

So, while I did not join the hundreds of students doing organized service projects today, I did do some service out here in the suburbs (it may be a day on, not a day off… but that doesn’t mean I need to spend it surrounded by the people I work with) 🙂  Did you serve today? How did you honor the life and memory of Dr.King?

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" Martin Luther King Jr via Pinterest

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” Martin Luther King Jr
via Pinterest

 

This quote above may be one of my most favorite quotes from Dr. King.

 

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