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.”

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011


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