(from the Seattle Times newspaper- google)
Today was the National Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, a day of community involvement and growth. While I was a college student, I faithfully participated in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service while on campus. However, once I graduated from college I believe that I lost sight about how powerful this day is. It is a day when people from different backgrounds in the community come together in an effort to improve and empower from within using service and other community building exercises. Once I graduated from college, I lost sight of that purpose and focus and used this day of service as a day to serve myself and sleep in.
Fast forward a couple of years and I’m now a mom and I want to teach my child the importance and value of community and what the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for. Lost are those days of complete selfishness laying up in my bed. However even on this particular day, I did not have the opportunity to take my daughter out to participate in any of the wonderful community service activities that were happening, because I had to work. To be honest, the bills need to paid and I have an extra mouth to feed. I felt so bad while I was at work today, because I truly wanted to be out performing some community service.
When I was a college student I was heavily into serving the community. My friends and I would go downtown with Bibles and food to hand out to the homeless, we would volunteer at Chosen 300 homeless ministries, anytime a homeless person asked for food- I would buy it or give them my pre-packaged food- whatever. I was also a Sunday School and VBS teacher for two years while I worked full time as an elementary level teacher. I also went to local nursing homes alone and with friends to sing hymns with the elderly, talk with them, and read God’s Word. All of this…and what happened?
I got caught up in my own self serving ways and failed to continue to recognize the need in the community for volunteers. In my opinion this is sad and I failed myself and my community, however it isn’t too late to pick up where I’ve left off. I haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution in years, but if there’s one worth making, it’s to find a location to volunteer at and take my daughter with me to teach her at this tender age how important it is to give back. I just feel as though I’ve been taking all of these years and haven’t been giving back and it’s time for me to change that, because change begins within.
If there’s anything that I need to remember it is to remember the path that was paved for me by my forefathers and what their insight was into what the future could be for us all. If anything, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for the community and building, and if he said anything, he didn’t say to disregard other races, but rather to embrace them because we cannot categorize everyone in a single race to the hatred that some carry. As Dr. King stated in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech “We cannot walk alone.” He surely did not want me or anyone of us to carry that hatred or bitterness in our hearts. Although I did not have the opportunity to participate in today’s beautiful community service events due to work obligations….I won’t let that stop me from serving. You can hold me to it, I will find a place for baby girl and I to volunteer and support a charitable organization this year! If you know of any great organizations, please share them with me in the comments section below.
…As always…thanks for stopping by….
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream Speech”