Skip to main content

See also:

You're working on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; it's your reasonable service

Front view of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC.
Front view of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC.
Taken 31 Dec 2011 by Karenfoleyphotography; license obtained through Dreamstime.com

If you're reading this from your work, Happy Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

If you're angry or bitter or just annoyed about not having today off, please think about what MLK Day truly represents.

Although there will be parades, cookouts, get-togethers, formal services and celebrations to commemorate the life and work of Rev. King, this is actually a national day of service.

According to "The King Holiday" page:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service. All across America on the Holiday, his followers perform service in hospitals and shelters and prisons and wherever people need some help.

Being at your appointed place of duty, whether that be work or volunteering to pass out water at a 5K walk/run event in honor of Rev. King or reading to juvenile cancer patients at the nearby children's hospital, is your reasonable service.

Would Rev. King think it noble of you to receive a letter of reprimand, or to even lose your job or put it in jeopardy, so you can be away from work to celebrate his day?

I think not.

Offer your service as a reliable employee who knows where s/he should be on this day. Honor your household with your service to your job so your paycheck doesn't suffer because you decided to skip out and "honor" Rev. King. There's no honor in shirking your responsibilities.

If your place of employment is closed today, or you were able to take a personal day without being negatively affected, find some way to give service.

Here's a list to give you a few ideas:

  • volunteer at a soup kitchen or shelter
  • donate unused/unwanted, quality clothes/shoes/household items to your nearest thrift store
  • visit someone who is sick and unable to leave home; find out what he/she needs and try to provide it, even if it's simply to be someone who sits and watches television with him/her
  • educate your children, and even a few neighborhood children, about why they're home from school on today, if they have this day off, too
  • find ways to get your children involved in this national day of service; have them rake leaves for an elder; collect trash in the neighborhood; read to/occupy younger siblings while you relax for several minutes
  • donate a generous amount of money to a worthy cause

Can you think of other ways for us to give service in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; a man who sacrificed so much to serve so many?

Leave your suggestion in the comments so we can all share in your ideas, which, hey, is another way you can give service on this day.