By Kristen Johnson
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
(Martin Luther King Jr.)
Today we celebrate and honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and his legacy. How do we honor him? How can we be sure not to become silent about things that matter?
- Refuse to ignore injustice: The United States has more people in prison, per capita, than another other country. 1 in 5 of those prisoners is there on drug offenses. There are huge ethnic disparities in prisons and jails. (Prison Policy Initiative). Refusing to ignore these problems, and refusing to fight against them is ignoring injustice.
- Refuse to ignore wage inequity: Women still make 80 cents to a man’s dollar, and the wage gap is even worse in women of color. Women in every U.S. state and nearly every profession experience the pay gap. The gender gap is worse for working mothers and it gets worse with age. (AAUW). Refusing to ignore these problems, and refusing to fight against them is ignoring injustice.
- Refuse to ignore racial disparities: African Americans are more than twice as likely as White Americans to be living in poverty. African Americans make significantly less money as White Americans, with the same education. White Americans are more likely than African Americans to complete college. (Pew Research). Refusing to ignore these problems, and refusing to fight against them is ignoring injustice.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?
(Martin Luther King Jr.)
How will you love someone else today? How will you serve?
- Serve a child living in poverty: Make a contribution to Compassion International (or another worthy children’s charity). https://www.compassion.com/default.htm. Better yet, volunteer in a local children’s shelter.
- Serve a woman who has been victimized by sex trafficking: Make a contribution to Polaris Project (or another worthy anti-trafficking charity) to make a difference for a woman affected by trafficking. https://polarisproject.org. Better yet, volunteer in a local trafficking shelter.
- Serve a homeless animal: Make a contribution to Humane Society of the United States (or another worthy animal charity). http://www.humanesociety.org. Better yet, volunteer in a local shelter or adopt and love a companion animal for life.
How will you honor Dr.King’s legacy today, and every day?
Isaiah 10: 1-3 (NRSV): Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes, 2 to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be your spoil, and that you may make the orphans your prey! 3 What will you do on the day of punishment, in the calamity that will come from far away?
To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth,
Serve all with love.
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