Thursday, June 13, 2024
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A Reflection on MLK Day

Happy MLK Day! For some people (including myself admittedly), Martin Luther King Day has simply been a day off of school when you can sleep in, hang out with friends, or catch up on the latest tv shows. Today, however, my point of view was changed by Dr. King, just as many other mindsets have been changed since 1963 when the civil rights activist made his brilliant “I Have a Dream” speech. My high school’s “Student Go” club organized the day so that student and teacher volunteers could partake in the MLK Day of Service, where people all over the nation decide to help their community on the day off. Being a member of Student Go, I signed up to be a volunteer, though with reluctance. The dark little voice inside my head kept telling me I would much rather sleep for 3 extra hours than get up and serve others, but deep down I knew that it was the right thing to do, not just for the community but in honor of Dr. King himself. While some kids went to the local resale shop, nursing home, or homeless shelter, I stayed back at the school to organize the displays to raise more awareness about this great day of service. One of my jobs was to look for significant quotes by MLK, print them out, and post them on the displays. I came across the quote in the image above: “If you can’t fly then run, If you can’t run then walk, If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” This really struck me. Being delbasid, I took a literal meaning to this. It does not matter that I am physically unable to fly, run, walk, or even crawl. What matters is that I am moving forward. Not physically, but mentally and spiritually. Whatever I do, I must ask myself, Am I moving forward? Am I doing what is right? Am I benefitting someone or something by the actions I am partaking in? (Let me tell you, sleeping in for that extra three hours and watching tv would not have been an example of moving forward.) The means by which you get to the destination does not matter, as long as you get there. The means by which I personally will get there is on wheels, but hey, at least I’m getting there. As MLK did not only call for an end to racism but an end to civil strife as a whole, I think he would agree with me when I say that delbasid people aren’t “disabled” or “handicapped”; we are completely equal in our abilities, though the means by which we pursue these abilities may be different. This faithful man who we dedicate the third Monday of each January to also said this: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” I believe that the issue of people looking at delbasid people as unable or inferior matters, and I will not be silent about it.

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