Yesterday was a day off school/work in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. I loved seeing all of the posts and quotes shared, but wondered how many people actually took the time to appreciate the significance of the day and the life of Dr. King.
I’ll admit, the majority of our day he was not discussed. We went about our day shoveling snow, jumping at a trampoline park, doing art and playing basketball. It’s easy, especially as a parent, to just go about the daily grind of life and not stop to think about the bigger picture.
In the late afternoon I remembered this video I took of my 5th grader when he was 4.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day 6 years ago, I watched Dr. King’s historic, I have a dream speech, with him and his little brother and baby sister.
This was his honest reaction after we watched the speech. I didn’t prompt him. I didn’t have him repeat it until it was perfect. He just started reciting, “I have a dream that one day my 4 little (yittle) children will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I’m so glad, now, that I captured it on video.
I watched the same video of Dr. King’s speech with my 1st grade daughter and her friend yesterday. They didn’t have the same reaction to the speech as Braeden did…they actually thought it was pretty boring.
But, the message was still there and it spurred great conversation. We talked about equality, race, kindness and love. We discussed the true impact Dr. King has on our life today.
Her friend said, “Caitlin you and I wouldn’t even be able to use the same bathrooms!”
Caitlin said, “Yeah, I wouldn’t even be alive because mommy and daddy couldn’t get married.”
And then they smiled, hugged and were so happy to have each other as friends.
When I step back and think of the big picture, it can be overwhelming. It is true…if it weren’t for activists, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, my life would be completely different.
My Shrews Crew wouldn’t even exist.
I am extremely grateful, but there is still much work to be done.
Racism, inequality and injustice are still rampant. Fear and anger seem to outweigh love and faith.
The political divide is disheartening.
Not to mention cancer (3 people I know lost their battle last week, blah!), mental illness, the healthcare crisis, obesity, global warming and the overall lack of joy in life. The list could go on…
It can feel overwhelming to think about. It can leave you discouraged.
But, it also can be promising. There is hope. There is love. There is endless possibility.
It is important look at the whole picture. It is critical to stop and reflect on the past and dream about the future. It is necessary to think outside of ourselves, to help others and to live a meaningful life.
But, what if we simplified things and thought of ourselves more?
What if you didn’t worry so much about trying to fix the problems in the world, you just focused on Being true to YOU?
Being kind, loving and compassionate to yourself
Not in a selfish, I don’t care about anyone else kind-of-way, but in a wow having a deep sense love for myself truly is powerful beyond measure kind-of-way.
A love that turns into being completely comfortable in your own skin. A love that includes listening to your inner wise self and acting on it. A love that helps you handle life’s stressful times and reminds you to give yourself a break when things aren’t perfect. A love that means having a deep sense of purpose, passion and joy.
When that happens...love comes naturally. Compassion shines through. Parenting becomes easier. Life becomes meaningful.
The world becomes a better place because you love yourself and you are sharing your gifts with the world.
Ego is gone. Fear is gone. Anger is gone. Insecurity is gone. Unhappiness is gone.
I think Martin Luther King, Jr. was right on in his quote,
“Love is the most durable power in the world.”
But, I think the love that needs to be focused on is within YOU.
You will help change the world, by being true to yourself. Then you won’t be able to help but spread your love to the world and make it a better place.
What do you think? Could it be that simple or am I completely crazy?