We usually look forward to holidays as a day off from work. a chance to head for the beach, movies, or whatever we consider fun. While Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in enjoying life too, and had flaws and weaknesses his critics eagerly expose, the central theme of his life was service. To properly celebrate his life and the movement his wife, Coretta Scott King, supported, honored, and elevated behind the scenes, we will answer his call to serve, not just one day, but year-round.
Boston Cares, a volunteering program in Greater Boston, got it right with their slogan for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: A Day On, Not a Day Off. Their wide range of volunteering opportunities quickly filled up, but they urge us to sign up for year-round volunteering at http://www.bostoncares.org/mlk_day
In his speech, “The Drum Major Instinct,” King said that if you want to be great, serve. Regardless of background, education, and ethnicity we can all serve others and in so doing help ourselves and all of humankind.
Ways to Serve
Connecting with an established charity, church or other community groups can do enormous good and be gratifying for you, even if you work with them only occasionally throughout the year.
In every age group from premature newborns to senior citizens people are longing for conversation, a visit, or a hug. Local and global groups can help you find people in one of these groups if you are drawn to serve one of them.
- One neighborhood that rallied around to help each other when someone was recovering from illness and needed a hot meal or were unable to drive and needed transportation to medical or other appointments.
- Adult literacy programs offered through the public library system are a great place to serve in a way that improves the individual, the family, and the community.
- Community gardens have become popular in my area as a way to not only grow healthy food, but to build healthy relationships with neighbors and bond with your family as you work your plot together.
Get ideas for projects and volunteering opportunities at http://www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/days-service/martin-luther-king-jr-day-service/toolkits
Just as King filled a void when he spoke out for justice and freedom, so must you fill a void in the niche you serve and show flair and style in the life you live.
To serve, King points out, all you need is a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. Thankfully, these things are within everyone’s reach. To tap into them all you have to do is go within, believing that they are yours.
May Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service be a reminder to you to start each day from your heart and soul and find ways to serve with integrity and joy.
If you need ideas on how to find time to add service to your life, download my free eBook It’s About Time at http://coloryourlifehappy.com/blog
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