I think there’s a temptation, in our society, to become to inured to that which we celebrate by national holiday. “Oh, a day off of work/school!” we crow, without much thought to why we have the day off.
I distinctly remember having a conversation with my children, last year, about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They’d both studied his life in school; it wasn’t that they didn’t know who he was or what he did. What came to light, during a discussion with my daughter, was that she really hadn’t grasped the reality of life before King and others fought for race equality in this country. It’s not that she hadn’t listened, it was that it was so foreign to her sphere of reference that she seemed to have categorized it as another interesting fiction.
And if that’s not testament to the amazing changes King made in our society, I don’t know what is.
Should you wish to spend some time talking to your children, today, about the holiday, the man behind it, and the history of human rights in the United States, here’s some resources for you:
Happy Martin Luther King Day, everyone!