“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve.
You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.
You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.
You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
On Monday, January 16, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – a man who dedicated his life to serving others. As we reflect on all that he accomplished, we are reminded of the importance and even the joy of service to others.
While Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national holiday, it’s also a call for a day of service, to make a difference within your community.
Many people will have the day off from work on this coming Monday. But how many will actually embrace the spirit of the holiday, of the man it honors, and spend that extra time helping others?
Too many will get wrapped up in their own pursuits, run errands, maybe sleep in and then binge on NetFlix for the day, play a round of golf, or just hang out with friends or family. They won’t even think about why they have the day off and what they could be doing to better the lives of others.
Spending the day in self-indulgence isn’t a bad thing, but not embracing the meaning of holiday is also depriving them – you – of the joy that comes with serving others.
Time, energy, and skills are the three most important resources we have in life. Yet when you give these resources away to make a difference in the life of another, you can learn what it means to be selfless and truly live. When you uplift someone else, you uplift yourself.
It’s unfortunate that far too many people will not see their own value in how they can help. They think if they don’t have a lot of money, they can’t make a difference. They think that their skill set isn’t suited to being of service. Or they don’t know where to start, with so much need.
But just like the beginning quote, you don’t need anything special to be of service as we have seen people from all walks of life coming together to serve their communities. From volunteers at local food banks to doctors treating patients on the frontlines of the pandemic, there are countless examples of people giving of themselves to help others.
On this day, we celebrate the life of a man who dedicated himself to making the world a better place. We should also recommit ourselves to the ideals of service and compassion that he so eloquently advocated. We can create joy for ourselves by serving, not because it is required or expected, but because it feels good and is the right thing to do. And by coming together and helping those in need, we can honor this great man’s memory and build a more just and equitable society for all.