Classroom Picture

From Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. Comes a Life of Service


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I cannot help but reflect upon the guiding light his teachings have been in my life thus far. From him—and so many other activists—I have learned what it means to allow your convictions to manifest in the work that you do daily, whatever that distinct work may be. I have also learned what can happen when you push back on apprehension with hope, indifference with compassion, and discouragement with ambition.

Emulating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I feel convicted to drive for growth, transformation, and equal opportunity in the communities I live and work in. Such work is necessary and can take shape in many forms on behalf of someone or something in need. I would be remiss not to mention the challenges of service, like how much labor goes in both physically and emotionally. Or how easy it is to look to your left and your right and believe you are not doing as much as your neighbor. That assessment is a real felt experience for many of us, as we are naturally comparative humans.  However, what’s most important is simply committing to service, no matter how big or small.

Through adversity I continue on the path forward, remembering that I am working on behalf of my community when I return home exhausted after a long day of work and ardently wake up to the possibilities of tomorrow. I remain committed  to working on behalf of my community when I show up for it in a conversation that has quickly fallen into negative connotations I could easily succumb to. Lastly, I remain committed to  my community when I implore others to do the same as I yearn to share with them everything the community has to offer.  While my service may be more or less labor intensive as the work of others, it is important to remember the distinguished words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Through each of our uniquely positioned walks of life, it is possible for us all to undertake work in our communities with painstaking excellence that uplifts humanity. I practice my service through my relationships, my connections, my coaching, and the organizations I’m involved in. I have witnessed others practice their service through voter registration, community meetings, dialogue groups, volunteering at school events, connecting with parents, and the list goes on. It is important to remember, as Dr. King states, no work is insignificant.

The manner in which you serve coupled with your conviction and commitment for said service, is the guiding light for others even though it may be hard to recognize at times. With this, I am excited to continue living a life of service within my community. I feel empowered to continue putting my belief of the infinite worth of all individuals into action through service, and it is my sincere hope that you—and countless others—join me on this journey.