Monday, January 18, 2010
A Day of Service - WWMLKD?
Today for the first time ever I participated in an organized service project for Martin Luther King, Jr. day. I admit it. Prior to today, MLK day for our family was a welcome day off, not a day to sign up for another round of organized activities. Usually, MLK day meant an extra day to catch up on laundry, or run some errands, or to clean my messy house. It meant one extra glorious day when we didn't have to wake up before the sunrise and hustle ourselves into regiments and routines.
In my mind, I justified our lack of service with the simple fact that I'm Black. And I married a "whitish" guy, so every freakin' day I'm living Martin's dream. I didn't need to take a day off to prove it to the rest of the world. Or so I said to anyone who dared question my lack of community spirt.
But this year has been a little different. We've been attending the local Unitarian church which just so happens to organize one of the largest MLK day observances in the area. It was hard to ignore the opportunity, especially when the minister made a personal phone call to our home to ask el esposo and I to head up one of the day's activities. You can't really lie to a minister, no matter how much you were looking forward to sleeping in. So I said yes. And even though we had to get up before the sunrise today, and do much of our service work outside in chilly temperatures, my heart was so warm and my spirit was so full. It really does feel good to do for others, especially in the company of so many other people working along side you with a similar mission.
Now, I'm all hopped on a doing good works. I want to do more and give more. And maybe you do too. Maybe you've had a similar epiphany about how to share your blessings with the less fortunate. Maybe you want to change the world like Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others who gave their lives to make a difference. Whether you participated in a day of service today or not, I'd like to urge all of you to consider visiting my good friend Rose-Anne's website, " A Current Between Shores." Usually Currents is all about Rose-Anne's trials and tribulations being an expat mama living in Berlin, Germany. But in light of the recent earthquake in Haiti, Rose-Anne has turned her site into an information center about how people can help the people of Haiti.
As a Haitian-American, Rose-Anne's interest in Haiti is personal. What's more, her family runs an orphanage for boys in Jacmel, one of the hardest hit areas. Luckily all of the boys are safe, but the building is decimated and Rose-Anne is doing her best to help raise funds and awareness for the Cleremont Center for boys. If you're looking for a way to help, please check out what Rose-Anne is doing. And ask yourself, WWMLKD? (What would MLK do?).I think that's the real point of this day, to ask ourselves, how can we embody Dr. King's work ethic, and his sense of service to his fellow man? What do you think? What do you think we're supposed to get out of a day in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.? How did you celebrate this day? I'd like to hear from you guys.
AND THE WINNER OF THE BOOK, "THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE" by Eileen Flanagan is Alikat! Alikat, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with you name and address and we'll send you your autographed copy of the book. Thank you to everyone who commented. And may you all find the wisdom you need in your lives.