Our Yesterdays are Our Todays – Reflections on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

After a 15-year battle, on November 2, 1983, our nation declared Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national holiday that we now celebrate annually on each third Monday in January. Many of us have marched, attended breakfasts, participated in service projects, or quietly reviewed the works and character of this man as we think about how Dr. King’s words and deeds exist in the fabric of our lives, our American society.

Some of us might remember the celebration that ensued when this day was declared, maybe how popular culture at the time marked this significant occasion (one of my favorites).

This year I was reminded how some of us have forgotten the words of Dr. King and the period in American history that forged him. We may not see how his words – his dreams for America – continue to be applicable today. Which is why taking a portion of our time, either on the holiday dedicated to Dr. King or another to reflect, can provide us with encouragement. An opportunity to move towards understanding, knowing that our ideas for improving the world are ones long held and worked on by others beyond ourselves.

When it comes to family health and wellbeing, Dr. King’s vision included providing children with equal opportunities and a supportive family environment to thrive. He envisioned families as the foundation of a just society. He believed in fostering strong family bonds, providing equal opportunities for all children, and creating supportive environments for all family members to flourish. His dream encompassed a world where families contribute to the collective well-being of society.

Here at the Sauer Family Foundation, our Dr. King reflections inform our understanding that families can create supportive and equitable home environments by fostering open communication, practicing active listening, and promoting mutual respect. That by encouraging shared responsibilities, recognizing individual strengths, and addressing conflicts constructively they can contribute to a harmonious family dynamic. Embracing diversity, celebrating achievements, and providing equal opportunities for all family members play crucial roles in establishing an environment that values fairness and support.

Dr. King believed in promoting love, justice, and equality within our homes. He believed that nurturing environments, education, and equal opportunities for children would empower families to positively impact their communities, creating a ripple effect towards a more just and compassionate society.

Dr. King’s hopes reflect our hopes here at SFF. We encourage each of you who reads these words to take time to reflect on his words now, during Black History Month in February and throughout the entire year.

Important quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.