Monday is a day of service — for others and ourselves

On Monday, Jan. 20, millions of people across this nation will celebrate the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We honor and remember him largely because he worked toward inclusion, not exclusion, and had a clear desire to unite, and not divide. In turbulent times, King was often a voice for calm and togetherness.

And he also believed in service to our communities. As the nationalservice.gov website explained, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday that is recognized as a day of service — a “day on, not a day off,” according to the site.

“This day of service helps to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, address social problems and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a ‘Beloveed Community,’” according to the site. And wouldn’t that be nice, if even for a day?

People from all 50 states will spend Monday delivering meals, refurbishing schools, collecting food and clothing, recruiting mentors, building homes, helping people find work and providing other services for veterans and military families, according to the site, amongst other endeavors.

As King once eloquently stated, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”

And this is truly the spirit of the day. We all can serve. We all can contribute to the betterment of our communities, and to the betterment of ourselves through the gift of serving others. This is more than just a holiday on Monday, and even more than honoring the achievements of one man.

It’s about honoring each other, and helping where we can. It’s about all of us.