In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

I received an email recently from the White House encouraging citizens to volunteer for the weekend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.  I decided to do some Karma yoga and signed up to help out the Miami Children's Initiative, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to cleaning up the streets of Liberty City, an impoverished community in Miami.

When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of people in attendance including students and children helping out. There was a DJ playing music, a cotton candy stand and pizza was served for all of the volunteers.

All I could think about as my eyes focused in on the barren lot was how we can take for granted the beautiful landscaping that magically appears in the wealthier neighborhoods and never think that other communities could benefit from that same beauty.  I wondered what kind of effect does community appearance have on our psyche.


I know for myself that when I buy some flowers from the grocery store and display them on my dining room table it makes me smile. A small comparison but it does indeed lift my mood. 

I met a few people who are educators and I was struck by their selfless dedication to their community.  Here they were on a day off from teaching and they chose once again to give back. Thank you Kayla, Kiesha, Portia and Ras.

So here's the question...I know our schedules are hectic and it seems like we never have time to do the things required of us, but let’s try to think of little ways to give back.  How can we OM the moment each day through service to our communities…maybe holding the door open for someone, offering to carry a heavy load, picking up trash on the street, making eye contact while smiling at a stranger. Small things can make a big difference. Leave me some of your ideas in the comments below or share your stories of service. 

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 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.”