January is an important month, containing Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday, my daughter’s birthday, my nephew’s birthday, and it solidifies the start of a new year. We’re all renewed with a sense of readiness for change; set out with resolutions to conquer, surviving the last half of the school year, learning and growing.
Every January I’m reminded how much I admire Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fight for equality. And every January, since my daughter has been in school, she’s been excited to come home and tell me about the things she’s learned about Dr. King. She is fascinated by his passion for helping people, for seeing them as more than just the color of their skin, and she admired his non-violent approach to problem-solving.
In first grade she had to memorize an excerpt from his “I Have a Dream” speech for her class. I asked her then if she could tell me a bit about what she was reciting and she replied, “He wanted all the little boys and girls to be able to be together without the adults getting upset.” I told her it was much, much bigger than that but that was a good start. Then she and I watched his speech, in black and white, all the way through. More than once.
This year, in second grade, she is hearing more stories that were written about him and his journey. His struggles, triumphs, the abrupt ending to his life, but not the ending to his mission. And I’m reminded again how powerful a man he was. In her school, the theme for this year is “Stick with Kindness” depicted with cacti and blooms. But the message of kindness is reinforced with Martin Luther King Jr.’s upcoming day. The message is still the same.
I asked her again this year what she has learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and here is what she told me in her own words:
- He fought for equal rights
- He solved problems in peaceful ways
- MLK said to use your words and not fists
- In his “I Have a Dream” speech he wanted all the little kids to be together and he wanted the country to be good and not fight
Kindness and non-violence go a long way. I can fully appreciate my daughter being able to go to school with all of her friends and being able to play with them and learn with them, freely.
This year, on the holiday, do something kind for your neighbor or community. San Diego Mom’s Blog Cares has a volunteer event for children and adults on MLK day. For more details and to register, click here.
Click here to watch the March on Washington.
The theme this year Peace, Love, and Kindness.