What Should You Do On MLK Day?


Savannah Monfette, Contributing Writer

Martin Luther King Jr. inspired many people during the civil rights movement and even after his death. He has a day commemorated to him to help us remember his sacrifice and all subsequent motions made in the name of civil rights and freedom. Many people spend MLK Jr. Day as just a paid day off from work or a break from school, but others use the day as an excuse to say they’ve contributed to the community by volunteering for that day, going home satisfied with themselves.

To honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy you could take the day or even the week leading up to the day to spend time reflecting on the impact you’ve made and how it makes you feel about yourself while comparing to see how well what you’ve done holds up to your beliefs as a human being. Take MLK Jr. Day itself to do some research and see how you can expand your impact while holding true to yourself at the same time.

While reflecting may sound easy, that’s a whole year’s worth of memory data to process. Taking up a journal to document your findings as you sort through your memories or meditating for a little bit could go a long way in allowing you to see how much you’ve actually accomplished. If you feel that you’ve held to your beliefs, whatever they may be, then good for you, but could you do more? If you tutor students during a prep, why not try for NHS or something similar? If you’re the kind of person who fades into the background, try volunteer work at the animal shelter or food pantry.

Reflect on all of this during the week leading up to MLK Jr.’s special day, but take the day itself to get to know what you really want for yourself in the coming year and find out what you can do to reach for that and even beyond. Find local shelters that accept volunteers in your age group, put together donation baskets with your allowance instead of buying Dunkins every morning. Go to local restaurants and implore them to donate their leftovers to the food pantry or homeless shelters. Go to a rights march and get involved in the causes you believe in, whether that be Black Lives Matter, LGBTQA+ Rights Campaign, or any other cause you believe in. After you’ve done your research and figured everything out to the smallest, most minute details like I do, go. Out. And. DO IT. Don’t let it be like those New Year’s Resolutions to go to the gym everyday and do it for a week and then every other day and then once a week, once a month, etc. Actually get out there and do all the things you thought about and researched. It’s well worth honoring Dr. King.