Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the great civil rights leaders of our day. This week is a wonderful time to learn about his life and work. Here are some helpful suggestions and resources. Hope you choose a few and enjoy them with your family!
1. Learn about Martin Luther King's life. The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King has a short video biography you can watch, and some cool stories about him. Discover how Martin Luther King made a better world in just 10 years.
2. Listen to and discuss Dr. King's speeches. Here is a link to an excerpt from his I Have a Dream speech. (The text of the full speech is there too.) Did you know that Dr. King, along with being a leader for civil rights, was pro-life and was an active advocate for the unborn?
3. Make posters / pictures of your dreams for America. Discuss how you can make them come true.
4. Read Martin Luther King's Pledge. Talk about how he and his followers agreed to govern their lives with love. Point out that they were able to change the world because they were willing to change themselves first.
5. Create your own Family Pledge. Discuss rules and principles your family would like to live. Talk about how those rules can help your family and those around you. Write up your Family Pledge and review it regularly.
6. Read or recite quotes from Dr. King. Here are a few of my favorites:
"The time is always right to do what is right."
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
"If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"Now that’s what we’ve got to do in our world today. We’ve left a lot of precious values behind; we’ve lost a lot of precious values. And if we are to go forward, if we are to make this a better world in which to live, we’ve got to go back. We’ve got to rediscover these precious values that we’ve left behind."
7. Learn about the lives other people who worked for equal rights, including Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and John Newton.
8. Learn lessons about leadership and entrepreneurship from the life of Dr. King. I love these insights on how great leaders inspire action. And here's a great article on four lessons entrepreneurs can learn from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
9. An inspiring article, The Wrath of a Great Leader, tells how Dr. King had to wrestle with his anger and what we can learn from his example. You might want to read the article with your family, or tell a few stories from the article and discuss the principles and some of the questions at the end.
The article shares a very valuable perspective on how we can transform anger into a powerful and positive source of motivation It's a very useful skill for us all to learn! And it's a good opportunity to teach our children that if we seek Him, God can transform our weaknesses into strengths!
10. Choose a way your family can make a difference in your neighborhood or community. Talk about people who could be struggling, how they might feel, and how you can help. You could help an immigrant family, befriend an elderly neighbor, help a child who is struggling in school, or assist at a local shelter.
If we each make a difference in our own unique way, we can make the world a better place!