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© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

Photo by iStockphoto

Photo by iStockphoto

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said,

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”

On Monday, President Barack Obama will take the Oath of Office for the second time.  He will hold Dr. King’s personal Bible for a time, the one the Kings normally keep in a glass case. The one with his hand-written notes in the margins. This year’s inauguration falls on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 21, 2013.  The day was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, to honor the civil rights leader.  The date was selected as the third Monday of January each year, to be close to Dr. King’s birthday, January 15th.  The holiday was finally adopted by all the states as of 2000.

Dr. King was a pastor known for nonviolent methods of creating social change, especially working against poverty, racism, and violence.  He was assassinated in Memphis, April 4, 1968, having traveled there to support striking African-American sanitation workers seeking rights.  He is remembered for poetic and strongly inspiring speeches, such as the “I have a dream” speech.  In that speech, he said,

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’  I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…”

19 years ago, Bill Clinton signed into law a bill that made Martin Luther King, Jr., Day a National Day of Service.   Organizations and volunteers now match with each other for needed service, on the federal website, MLKDay.gov.  As Clinton said at his second inaugural address, “We must be repairers of the breach.”

Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Dr. King said today, “Everyone is important, no matter how you define yourself.  We have to finish the work of Dr. King.”

Together, let us celebrate Dr. King and the strides made as a result of his work.  Together, let us celebrate the good works of good people around the Globe.  Together let us celebrate the question, “What are you doing for others?”

For more on the work currently being carried forward in Dr. King’s name, visit the King Center for Nonviolent Change, http://www.thekingcenter.org/.


● Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (on Amazon.com >Books>Buckley), and the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core (on Amazon.com >Books>Button).  She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.

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● Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com .