By: Amanda Curran, ’21
Today, January 18th, we commemorate the accomplishments, aspirations, and wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout his lifetime as a civil rights activist, Dr. King worked to end racial discrimination and segregation for people of color. To carry out his work, Dr. King used the method of nonviolent protests. He said, “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. It is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.” The effectiveness and overall power of nonviolence is often underestimated by others. Within his lifetime, Dr. King accomplished so much and inspired others to take initiative with their life and peacefully fight for the change they desire.
The purpose of this federal holiday is to be “a day on, not a day off”; it is observed as a national day of service. Today is a call for people from different cultures, religions, and experiences to come together, honor, and continue Dr. King’s legacy through helping others. As a country we must recognize the need for social change in our own communities and serve our nation using the principles valued and demonstrated by Dr. King. By participating in forms of service throughout the year and especially today, we are lending a hand to those in society needing it most and ultimately getting one step closer to achieving Dr. King’s dream of peace, social equality, and unity.
Overall, it is important to reflect on America’s history and truly educate ourselves on the people who used their voices to bring positive change to our country. Dr. King was extremely successful in his work and we are responsible for carrying on his legacy and like him, are called to initiate change during times of injustice.
“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.