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Martin Luther King Day: A Day On, Not Off

Posted by Dr. Claire McCarthy  January 20, 2014 06:52 AM

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Did you know that Martin Luther King is the only non-president to have a day commemorating him? 

Not only that, he's the only person whose "day" isn't just meant to be a day to remember him and a day off of work or school. It's meant to be a day of service. 

King's life was one of service. He fought tirelessly for the rights of African Americans, the rights of the poor, for equality for all people--and he believed that the fight should be nonviolent. Despite multiple arrests, and violence around him, he stayed steadfast in that belief until he was killed in April of 1968. 

It's great to have a day off, especially now when it's cold and we're all still recovering from the holidays and spring feels so very far away. It's nice to sleep in and not have to get everybody up and organized for school. But this is an opportunity we really shouldn't miss: an opportunity to teach our children that they are part of something bigger, and that they should help whenever and wherever they can.

So do something today. There are service projects all over the country--the Martin Luther King Day of Service website can help you find them (there are some great ones in the Boston area). If you can't organize to do something today, plan a future service project with your family. 

And while you're at it, watch the "I Have A Dream" speech with your children. It will give you goosebumps.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About MD Mama

Claire McCarthy, M.D., is a pediatrician and Medical Communications Editor at Boston Children's Hospital . An assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a senior editor for Harvard More »

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