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Monday, January 15, 2024

8 Life Lessons From Martin Luther King, Jr.

It will have been 95 years ago this month that Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta. One of the greatest Americans to have ever lived, King devoted his life to the struggle for civil rights, a struggle that continues to this very day.

In both word and action, he had a profound and immeasurable impact both at home and abroad. Today, as we honor his life and his memory, we note a few ways in which the rest of us can follow the example of this great man with these eight important life lessons.

1. Dare to dream.

It doesn’t matter who you are or how big your dreams are, your dreams are valid. Teaching youth to dream big and work hard is such a powerful lesson. No matter how big or small, let’s continue to teach youth to believe in themselves in order to make those dreams come true.

2. Love others.

Martin Luther King Jr. believed in the power of love. He taught us to love others and not hate because love always wins in the end. He believed that hating people is stooping low and that no one should ever fall prey to hate. Because when you return hate for hate, no one wins.

3. Don’t judge others by their appearance.

Everyone may look different in appearance, but the character of individuals is what matters most. Just because someone looks different from you on the outside doesn’t mean we should treat them differently.

4. Push on and persevere.

MLK believed in his mission. If you are going through challenging moments, don’t quit. Today’s youth must learn that goals can be difficult to reach, but do not give up at the initial indication of hardship. The most promising goals are often the most formidable to strive for.

5. Serve others.

This is one of the greatest lessons from MLK. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplified a life of service. He believed serving others is the epitome of greatness. Youth who learn how to share, be kind, and be selfless can make their lives (and the lives of others) more pleasing.

6. Forgive

Forgiving others can be difficult, but we should never allow hatred to develop in our hearts. Preventing hatred starts by learning to forgive quickly. Learn to talk to children about forgiveness and how it releases pain for themselves more than it does the other person.

7. Stand up for what is right.

His stance on justice was obvious, which meant speaking up in a silent room. If youth see someone being bullied, encourage them to stand up for those who are being bullied and do what is right, even if it goes against the grain.

8. All things are possible.

For Martin Luther King, Jr., “impossible” was not an acceptable word. He dreamed of a future of equality and equity. Whatever your child’s dreams are, they are possible. Work hard, never give up, be kind to others, and follow our purpose. They shall succeed!

Thank you, Martin Luther King Jr, for inspiring, teaching, and guiding this nation. Thank you for the opportunities you’ve given millions and millions of people and the hope you’ve instilled for a brighter future.

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