Next Monday, January 16, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This day is supposed to be used to reflect on the work that Martin Luther King, Jr. did for the human race. Some may do this by attending or participating in parades or having programs about Mr. King. Others may see this day as a paid holiday and will be able to sleep in or be with children since they are out of school as well. Still, some offices and schools will be open. While having a conversation, I learned that some places of business values could be judged if they are not closed on MLK Day.
Before this conversation I have to admit that I never thought about it. Since kindergarten I have always had the day off from school. As an adult, I have also had the day off from work. This is something that I have come to expect and that is as much thought goes into that day. When I got this day off, I did not feel like I must be attending the most respectful school or working at the most honorable place of business. It was just that, a day off. But should schools and places of business be judged for not closing for MLK Day? When asking this question, there are some things to consider.
As brought out earlier, some people recognize this day by participating in parades or memorial programs. But let’s keep it real, everyone who has this day off is not taking part in these activities. I have used plenty of past MLK Days to catch up on sleep. And it is safe to say that other people use this day to rest as well. A huge part of King’s dream was that all people have equal rights and have access to opportunities to succeed in education and employment. To me it is ironic that on his day we take off work or school to remember Mr. King. You would think that going to work, being there on time, and doing the best in whatever we were hired to do is the best way to honor his memory. You would think going to school, making good grades, and getting your high school diploma is the best way to keep his dream alive. You would think going to college, getting good grades, and graduating in a reasonable amount of time would be the best way to show appreciation for his hard work. So I feel if you are just going to use the day to sleep in, the business or school might as well stay open.
This post is not to advocate for schools or businesses to stay open on MLK Day, but to say that no one should be judged on how they choose to recognize this day or if they recognize the day at all. Every day you wake up and put an effort in to whatever it is that you do, you are making Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work worth it. What are your thoughts?