"Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve."
Martin Luther King Jr.
Partners Post, January 2013
Every January, our country pauses to remember civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. for his many humanitarian contributions and service to our nation.
Because he wanted his legacy to be one of action, peace, and unity, the nationally-recognized holiday in his memory has become known as a day of service: A Day On, rather than a Day Off.
In communities throughout Pennsylvania and throughout the rest of our country, citizens and organizations participate each year in a wide range of activities, volunteering time and attention to the well-being of others.
It is an essential way to honor King's many generous and meaningful values, such as altruism, compassion, courage, education, equality, leadership, perseverance, personal commitment and service to others.
What are you doing to extend these good works throughout the year? Why not lend a hand, volunteer, help your neighbors, and improve your community?
Remember, what you do will influence your own children. Consider identifying days throughout the year in service to others – hand-in-hand with your own child or any children who look up to you.
Children benefit from a sense of belonging and experiencing the importance of contributing. Your actions are a powerful force for good.
Tips for inspiring service in children:
- Model the behaviors you want to encourage. In your very busy life, it can be challenging to be involved, so it's important to remember that when you give of your time, you not only help those you are striving to assist, you also inspire your children. Your actions speak loudly and convincingly.
- Show and teach respect for others. Sure, we're all trying to do this every day, yet with just a bit more thought and awareness - as well as a personal commitment - we achieve so much more. Watch how you react to minor situations that create stress when your actions might be less than tolerant or respectful.
- Be an enthusiastic supporter of children's efforts to volunteer or other altruistic behaviors. Your approval is meaningful; your open demonstration of admiration will encourage other positive behaviors.
- Remind yourself and your children that when you help others, you help yourself. Enjoy a full year of service.