As we celebrate another Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, I began to wonder if we are celebrating it the way we should. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist who stood up for what he believed in and didn’t let what others thought about him stop his fight. He faced many challenges in his life, but never lost sight of what was important and never changed his morals to make others appreciate or agree with him.
One of Dr. King’s biggest goals was equal education for all. He wished for the day that people would be judged by the person they were, not the color of their skin. Although we study him in school, I still question whether or not we, as students, take advantage of the educational opportunities Dr. King and so many others fought for. In the words of Dr. King, “intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.” But, how many of us can say that we regularly try to improve our intelligence and character to the best of our ability.
Nowadays, for the most part, Dr. King’s dreams have been realized. Sure some people still judge others by skin color, but most people seemed to have gotten over that factor long enough to just get along. Here is the only problem though. When the third Monday of every January was dubbed Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1986, almost all of the schools I know of gave their students this day off. Yet, Dr. King’s fight was about education, and we aren’t even in school that day.
Even though I am a middle school student, and every day we get off from school is always enjoyable, it still doesn’t feel right to have the day off. If anything, we should have school that day and spend the entire time enhancing our knowledge of Dr. King.
Sometimes we lose sight of what he did and how his actions have influenced us. Imagine if Dr. King hadn’t believed in our rights for equal education. If you think that his decisions and actions haven’t influenced you specifically, then think again. Without Dr. King, some of us wouldn’t have our homes or other things we own. We wouldn’t have our cellphones or IPods and other things we feel we cannot live without, because without an education, we wouldn’t be able to afford them. Also, I can almost guarantee that most of us wouldn’t know some of our current friends. So the next time you are busy enjoying your day off from school for Martin Luther king Jr. Day, just take the time to think about for whom and why you have the day off.