For many across the country, the King Day of Service is a day off. It is a day when the obligation of work is taken off their shoulders and as such, they enjoy the opportunity to take a break from their hectic daily activities and withdraw into the solitude of their homes. Yet, for many more, this significant day is consider not a day off but one in which the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. must be reinvigorated and the tradition of his selflessness be both reflected upon and used to inspire a new generation of citizens and future leaders.
On Jan. 21st 2013, I had the opportunity to make this day one in which I engaged with the rich history of our past and the challenges both of our time and future by participating in the Celebration of Dr. King’s life at the Curry Student Center on Campus. There, I met hundreds of my fellow students both from Northeastern and other neighboring Universities and high schools. There I learned about the challenges of our common heritage, the selflessness of Dr. King and the resolution of a generation of people to put themselves in harm's way in other to ensure a more perfect union for future generations.
The 60’s was an era like no other in the annals of human history. It was a transformational period both at home and abroad. It was a decade when the iniquities of a nation were thrown open for the world to behold. It was a period when the resolution of few Americans, people of different shades and color, forever changed the opportunities available to a whole generation of people. It was a decade when millions were willing to shed their blood to defend their freedom and demand the recognition of their inalienable rights as humans and as American citizens. In remembering this era in which Dr. King demonstrated what it means to exhibit “dangerous unselfishness,” we are both reminded of the road we’ve traveled and the challenges of our time and those that lie ahead.
We are reminded that the noblest essence of human existence is to make positive impact on collective survival and interdependence. We are reminded that in other to further ensure a more perfect union for current and future generation, we are called upon to carry on the traditions of Dr. King in our respective fields and stations in live. We are called upon to inspire and even force change within our societies not through violence but love, not through force but peace.
Whether it is the need to reduce the level of inequality within this society, recognize the right of our fellow brothers and sisters to choose who they wish to be with, recognize the need for our mothers and sisters to get equal pay for equal work, dismantle the school to prison pipeline, ensure food justice, curb the scope of domestic violence, recognize our obligations to those that seek opportunities within this shore, etc., we are reminded that the challenges we face today are great and many, that they affect Americans of all shades and color, that they cannot be solved by one person, and that we must overcome them together as one people and as one nation.
From: Yusuf Nuruddin