Today is the day we celebrate an important man.
Many of us get today off from work and will use it to do laundry, go out to breakfast, visit family, or some other mundane thing. Many of us will still be working today and it’s just another one of those “Mondays” where we whine about how short the weekends are. Many won’t even think about the purpose of this day.
Today is not just another Monday. Today is a day that we need to pause and reflect on the world around us. As I told my students after the events in Connecticut and California recently, I am scared for us.
We cannot continue on in this manner.
We are polarizing ourselves and the world is full of hatred and violence and ignorance and disrespect.
That makes my body physically ache.
Let’s not make this another Monday. I beg of you to take the time to give some good old r-e-s-p-e-c-t to an important man in American history. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. did not use his time in this world to spew hate and violence and to make people feel badly about themselves. He brought up those around him.
My favorite quote from this amazing man goes a little something like this:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
What is the beauty of this statement?
We can always see a small flame in the dark. The darkness cannot overcome it.
However, we have a much more difficult time seeing the love; we often let the hate overcome it. Love can fix it all. Acceptance can fix it all.
I work desperately every day to teach tolerance, love, and respect to my students. I often fear that I fail but at least I am trying. Let’s work to make future generations more peaceful by actually living in a way that demonstrates our challenges to “love everyone’s differences” even though so often we drive those people away or make fun of them.
Bullying is a serious problem.
While Martin Luther King, Jr. was fighting for civil rights for people in this country, he was also fighting for us to love each other and to drive out the darkness and hatred.
I’m afraid we are currently failing his beautiful vision.
I don’t think it’s just a dream, I know it is possible.
How do we fix it?
I don’t know.
But let’s keep trying.
My amazing students created a program at our high school based off of one in another district to prevent bullying. It is beautiful.
Let’s educate ourselves about those who are different from us.
I bet we will find that they are not so very different.
Let’s befriend those who are lonely. Let’s not worry so much about how others view us and instead be beacons of light.
Let’s fight for causes that are important to us.
Let’s not blame others for our problems.
Let’s tell someone that we love them.
Let’s be grateful for what we do have.
Today, it’s cool if you do your laundry and go out to breakfast and enjoy your day off. It’s cool if you’re working today. But I have one challenge: talk about the man whom this day honors. Figure out one small thing you can do to make his Dream come true. Not only for people of color, but for all people.
Only we can change our world.
And I’m afraid we don’t have any time to lose.
Thanks MLK for inspiring me.