Simple Ways to Honor the Value of Service and Martin Luther King, Jr.

 hand shake for MLK Jr post

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

What would the world be like if we all held a dream for peace, equality and service? And more importantly, what if we lived that dream as a part of our day-to-day humble routines? Monday, January 20th, we honor a man we admire for his incredible character and ability to live his beliefs despite tremendous social pressure. As we learn better ways to create a supportive environment for the character development of our children, he serves as a role model. Take advantage in the coming days to learn a bit about his life with your children.

Because Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man not only of strong beliefs and powerful words, but also of meaningful action, one way to honor his legacy is by cultivating a I help other by...sense of service and contribution in your home life. Encourage helping behaviors. Use the language of service with your children. For example, we placed this statement, “I help by…” in our kitchen. Even the youngest child can search for ways that he or she can contribute if given the chance and guidance. Regular, simple and accessible ways to help at home can plant the seeds early in life of a heart and mind that understands the value of service.

If you want to learn more about Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, I’ve listed some of the books that come highly recommended for each age level including adults.

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. by Jean Marzollo

Appropriate for ages 4-8 years old

(2006) NY, NY: Scholastic Books.

DK Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.  by Amy Pastan

Appropriate for ages 5-12 years old

(2004) NY, NY: DK Publishing.

…If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Ellen Levine and Beth Peck

Appropriate for 7-12 year olds

(1994) Scholastic Books

A Time to Break the Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King Jr., for Students by Martin Luther King, Jr. with an introduction by Walter Dean Meyers

Appropriate for young adults

(2013) Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties by Harris Wofford

Appropriate for adults only

(1980) Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

This is an older book but a highly worthwhile read. It was a great honor to work for Senator Wofford at the Corporation for National and Community Service in the early nineties. He wrote this book not from the sidelines but as a key player in the nonviolence movement and one of the senior leaders under President Kennedy who helped found the Peace Corps.  Powerful!

* Art is by my son, E. Miller

6 Comments on “Simple Ways to Honor the Value of Service and Martin Luther King, Jr.”

  1. Pingback: Simple Ways to Honor the Value of Service and Martin Luther King, Jr. | Parent Community Network

  2. Pingback: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day | John 8:32 |

    • Shannon, Thank you so much for sharing this outstanding article. I really appreciated that she discusses the fact that no conversation about racism is going to feel complete or satisfactory — that if you are really discussing this critical issue with your children, you are likely to leave the conversation with worry, guilt and discomfort and perhaps, more. I have shared the link on all of my other social media outlets as well. i appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: