Paying More Than Lipservice to MLK Jr.

Even a century of 100% participation in an annual day of volunteering would fall short of repaying the debt we owe to the esteemed educator and visionary Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living lives worthy of his sacrifice is a place to start. Shakti Butler and friends at World Trust are doing their part.

The rest of us can start small: Find someone and engage them in conversation about recent successes in improving race relations or ending structural inequality, and genuinely listen to their story and the story within and behind the story. Then tell your own. The next day, begin again. Find somebody to listen to and genuinely listen. Doing so consistently will change one life, possibly two, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

To make an even more strategic difference, listen to the single parent of a child or children under four years of age who lives at or below the poverty line. 90% of child abuse cases involve children not yet in school and therefore, go unnoticed. It takes only one charismatic individual to turn a child’s life around – not a program, not a professional, not a formal intervention – a single individual who decides not to be a bystander. What’s getting in the way  of your being that individual?

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