“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 don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle… (or) Einstein’s Theory of Relativity … (or) the Second Theory of Thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Martin Luther King
On this important holiday, this new-found “day of service,” we now have a moment when we can think about the messages from Dr. Martin Luther King, and just as vital, understand what he did to advance racial unity, justice, equality, and a sense of belonging. It is fitting that this day has become one where groups converge and conduct activities to better their communities. These acts are individually and commulatively laudable. Hopefully, they are not isolated and just relegated to one day. Hopefully, one day of service leads to two days, a week, and ultimately to a life of service.
In our sometimes frenetic lives, how can we add room to serve…doesn’t helping others take an inordinate amount of time? I’ve noticed that a child can plant a seedling in about five minutes. It takes seconds to open a door for someone laden with packages, and to express “I love you,”…well that just happened in one sweet breath.
If being happy is one of our major life aims, then helping others to be happy doubles that achievement. Yet, helping others goes beyond happiness, for service goes directly to the core of our humanity, to our generous spiritual nature. Developing a local park beautifies a neighborhood, riding one’s bicycle helps the planet. How invigorating to begin each day prioritizing our time to answer to Dr. King’s plea:“Life’s most persistent question is: What will you do for others?