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Family

Martin Luther King Day and Service Starts at Home

It is fantastic to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by celebrating the service your children do for the family. In January of each year, attention turns to thoughts of Martin Luther King Jr and community service. Conversations take place in real life and in cyberspace about the importance of being of service to others. Mothers happily share stories of the wonderful service projects their children create or complete.

This year, we are continuing to teach our children the importance of service by explaining that service should be a way of life. We want our children to realize that service should be something they do every day and not something they do just for special occasions or because it is a certain time of year.  We have been stressing this idea and connecting it with lessons on the Golden Rule.

Each of our children serves in a different way. My eldest daughter, my Simmie is working on a Masters degree in social work on her way to a Ph.D. in public health. Service to others is part of her life.

My son, aka my Golden One once only talked about wanting to be paid for each nice thing he did in the family. Over time, as we have talked to him about community, family and shared visions, his thinking has changed. Now Golden One understands that he has responsibilities as a member of our family to work towards making our little community, our home a better place for us all.

Twin Z and Twin C volunteer with our church. They help stock the pantry. The work to make sandwiches for the homeless. Each year they work to make care packages for people living in a local shelter. They look forward to each of these service opportunities and see them as part of their duty as people living in America.

Additionally, our children provide service in our home. My Simmie makes dinner twice each week and does the family laundry. My Golden One takes out the trash, gets things off high shelves, and protects the twins. Twin Z gives me a semi-frozen fruit juice each morning. She does this because I like frozen fruit juice and she wants to make me smile. Twin C takes the dust pan and broom from me when she sees me weeping so I don’t have to bend over to clean up. I am older and my back prefers not bending over for certain tasks. So, she helps me. These acts of service a big deal in our family. they help make life better for us all.

It didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen after just one or two conversations. Instead, it took place gradually as a result of conversations, lessons taught while watching movies and praises for things well done. Our children are people of service and I am proud to call them my own.

Now all these things may not sound much to a person whose service project is building a school in Haiti or who works at a soup kitchen once a year. But in our family, in our world, the service that my our children provide is a treasure beyond measure. Because service is a lifestyle for them, not a project the will be a good people.  Those our things our family can celebrate all year-long.

It is fantastic to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King by celebrating the service your children do for the family. So, the question for you this fantastic day is how do your family members serve one another?

Protect your mental health like the treasure it is.

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