My two older kiddos have read the I Am Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. book and have had numerous lessons about the way he changed the world, but my 5-year-old had some questions about why he didn’t go to school today.
The simple answer was we didn’t go to school today because we are remembering and honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
His question in return, “Why?”
Well, where do I start?
I told my son about how African-Americans were not treated equally in America and how Martin Luther King Jr. was a smart and kind man, who tried to get people to work together so that everyone was treated equally. He wanted his children to grow up to have the opportunities all others had. He didn’t want people to have to live in fear of being beaten or left out because of how they looked. Dr. King preached about how peace could and would bring about change if only everyone would open their hearts to its healing powers. He asked people to respond with kindness and understanding instead of anger and hitting. His ideas gave us wonderful guidance as to the ways we should treat one another and resolve our issues.
“Oh, okay,” was my son’s simple reply.
Later my two older kiddos were fighting and my youngest son yelled, “Hey, we are out of school because Marting Luther King says we have to stop fighting! So stop fighting”
A miracle happened. They stopped yelling at each other and laughed at the proclamation of their little brother.
That sweet message of peace stopped their bickering. If only Dr. King’s message could cut the tensions of our world as quickly.
At lunch, we had a longer discussion about Martin Luther King Jr. Hearing the thoughts of my children on Dr. King and his work did my heart good. Explaining Dr. King to my children was a positive experience in my day and hopefully a memorable lesson in their lives. I encourage you to discuss the meaning behind today’s observance with your family and friends. Explaining Dr. King to my children has helped keep his memory and message alive in my heart and mind and I hope it will do the same for you.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Dr. King would DEFINITELY be on my list of people to invite to lunch. I guess I’ll have to reserve that request for my time in heaven.