It’s Martin Luther King Day. I was thinking of how every year, the media kind of says and does the same stuff on this day and we’ve all heard it before. I was even cynically thinking “People don’t care about this anymore. It’s all getting farther in the past. People just say the same old, same old cliches or blow it off.”
But then I saw this segment below on NewsHour, and it made me realize something related to this month’s theme of “a new start”: not everyone has “heard it all before.” To kids about my nieces and oldest nephew’s age, just old enough to understand the basics of things like freedom and fairness, the history of the Civil Rights Movement IS new. And it’s such an important part of American history, I’m glad we take a day to remember Martin Luther King and the movement behind him. It’s important for kids to know things used to be different, and that sometimes, we need to work for change, for something better.
Maybe, this is really a holiday for children, for us to remind each “next” generation of what we’re supposed to stand for as a country and how important it is to stand up when we fall short. A new chapter of progress started with Dr King’s work , as epitomized in his ‘I Have A Dream” speech. What new chapter will the next generation start, inspired by those words and the civil rights movement which, after all, was in large part a movement of youth? How will they take the inspiration of a great moral leader and become moral leaders themselves? I look forward to finding out.