Reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
This past Thursday, I spent the evening reading Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport to a group of 3 to 5 year olds. I started off by asking, “Who’s birthday is this month.” I got a ton of hands. “Mine is January 8th,” “Mine is January 26th,” and then finally one little girl said “Martin’s birthday is this month.” I didn’t expect that from a four year old, but I was pleasantly surprised and responded, “Yes, and do you know what he did?” She took a moment to collect her thoughts and said, “He taught people to love and take care of each other.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
In a single sentence, a four year old summed up the importance of MLK Day. Yes, it is a day off, but it is also a time for reflecting on how great our country is. It is a time to celebrate the sacrifices of millions of Americans and to take pride in the fact that our country is a more perfect union as a result of what has and continues to be sacrificed by each of us on a daily basis. Before I got to the end of the book, one little boy raised his hand and told me that he did not like how it was going to end. Before I could respond, the same little girl chimed in, “It doesn’t end bad, my mommy says his dream is still alive.”Best,
Ciji DoddsMiss International 2011