Today’s national celebration of the birthday of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., offers teachers an excellent opportunity to share the story of this prominent figure in America’s history, and to guide young people in their reflection on what lessons about life this great leader’s life can offer us.
As a young child myself in the 1960’s, I can remember vividly watching the “I Have a Dream” speech on television that hot August night in 1963. I was eight years old then, and impressionable. I’m all grown up now, but throughout the five and a half decades since that historic March on Washington, whenever I watch video of that historic speech, I am impressed all over again with the possibility that the world we share could, and should, be a better place, and that no matter how young—or old—I am, I can take action, even if it’s small, that would make such improvement come about. This is one of the most important lessons MLK has taught us all, not only then, but most especially now.