Happy Birthday, Dr. King

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On the third Monday in January, Americans across the country celebrate the incredible life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The day looks different for everyone and the festivities vary from state to city.

In Cincinnati, you might head to The Freedom Center for the MLK Coalition March at 10:30 am. (More info here)
You could also take your kids to see the Coretta Scott King Play at The Cincinnati Children’s Theatre on January 18-20th. (More info here)

If, however, you find yourself in need of something to do next Monday and want to honor Dr. King in a slightly less public scene, I feel the best way to do that would be to spend time volunteering. Dr. King devoted his life to public service and sacrificed hours upon hours to support others within his community and beyond.

His servant’s heart is one of the most prominent things for which he is remembered. At times, his acts of service were grand and big. But other times, I’d argue even most of the time, his kindness towards others wasn’t widely speculated. It probably wasn’t particularly newsworthy or flashy. I’ll bet it simply looked like neighbors helping one another.
Regardless of race, social status, religion or rank.
Without any thought of what could be given in return.
Serving others just because it was the right thing to do.

I think about all the times during the day when I have the opportunity to help strangers. They aren’t usually big things.
Holding the door.
Leaving a generous tip.
Writing a thank you note.
Grabbing a cart from someone in a parking lot at Kroger.
Letting my neighbor’s dog out.
Allowing someone to go in front of me in the drive-thru or at checkout.

Little things. Nothing, really. But it is something. In a world where common decency and manners are becoming less and less prominent, I find these tiny acts of service more important than ever.

Dr. King’s life taught me the importance of taking care of one another. Taking care of our families.
Our friends.
Our communities.
Even those with whom we don’t always get along.

And so, if you’re like me and wish to add meaning to Monday January 20th: take care of someone.
Big or small.
Grand or simple.
Be the reason someone’s day is made a little bit easier. I can think of no better way to honor the great Dr. King.
Laura Hathaway

Laura Hathaway

Writer, BLMP