m is for dr. martin luther king jr

this year there seemed to be great interest in how long his name is. five parts to his name: dr. martin. luther. king. jr.

maybe the magnitude of his work is reflected in the magnitude of his name.


the story remains the same, with delivery varying based on the state of the world, nation, state, town, school. this year in our conversation of “sticking up for people who are made fun of,” the president of the united states was mentioned as someone who makes fun of people. in the same circle there is the typical look of confusion as we discuss laws and practices of the 60s. then further confusion when a child of color speaks up and says, there are still people who don’t like black people.

these are the times we live in.

so we heal the world by empowering them with action. they know how to love, they know how to feel, they know what is just.

our project this week involves blending colors and stating the invitation for each color to each child:

red reminds to stand tall
orange reminds to stay curious
yellow reminds to stick up for others
green reminds to love
blue reminds to speak up
purple reminds to have hope
black and white remind to listen
beautiful brown can be found when all colors are mixed

they know how to do these things:

be proud of who you are, remember you are loved, you have friends
ask questions, keep learning, don’t just believe things
tell people to stop being mean, smile at kids who are alone
love someone or something or do something you like to do
tell someone if someone or something is being hurt
think that things are going to get better no matter what
when you mix all those good things it’s good

in listening to the news, it’s easy to feel that our work has just begun, that we’ve taken steps backwards, that our progress was a sham.

in listening to the children, it’s easy to feel the world is in good hands.