The importance of MLK Day

Earlier this week, citizens everywhere celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Originating in 1986, the third Monday in January is a National Holiday to honor the life of the Civil Rights activist. While several see the holiday as just an extended weekend, we should take the time to recognize King’s goals and dreams he envisioned. 

Several schools, places of worship and local community centers will often enact a day of service to have people participate in volunteering activities. Several of the events revolve around social and political issues within Black communities and other minority groups. One of King’s most famous quotes is “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” To help fulfill his legacy, simply dedicating an hour or two to be a part of a project that can greatly impact others allows us to be selfless and help those less fortunate.

Another simple way we can reflect on King’s life is by reading articles and books that discuss King’s life and his impact on civil rights and fighting for racial injustice. Known for ending racial segregation through nonviolent practices, we can learn a lot from his philosophies on how we want to advocate for change in the world. Social injustices are still a problem in society and taking time to read up on the historic actions King led to advocate for equality can inspire us to get involved in projects with causes we feel are important. 

Many of King’s famous quotes and teachings are still relevant, with several of them being applicable to advocacy. His famous “I Have a Dream” speech highlights people being “judged for the content of their character and not the color of their skin.” He also said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” Both messages are timeless and are reminders that we should treat everyone with respect and fight for equality around the world. 

Instead of treating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as just another holiday, take time to observe and remember all he did and the dream he had of ending racial segregation. Sharing the information we learn with our family and friends can be a way to keep King’s legacy alive for a better future.

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