Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! I am excited to have the day off from work to write, cook, catch up on chores and perhaps run a few errands. Before my trip to the gym this morning I took a few minutes to read a few articles and reflect on the day. I love reading all of Dr. King’s quotes that circulate the internet this time of year. What an eloquent, articulate and truly inspirational human being. This morning I found an article that listed some of Dr. King’s lesser known quotes, and I found this one particularly meaningful,
“ True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring”.
This quote resonates with me on many levels right now, both personally, professionally and even with memories of our recent trip to San Francisco where despite the beautiful landscapes, bright tourist attractions and thriving city life, we encountered SO many homeless individuals. Several times, I caught myself thinking, Wow, what can they do to help these people? Why don’t they seem to be doing more? And then, as we explored the city I would see the lines of men, women and children winding around blocks to get into the shelters and think, How do you fix a problem this big?
I think Dr. King was trying to express that putting a band aid on a problem is not enough, and to be truly compassionate, you must consider what you can do to eliminate the problem from the ground up. I think about this often at work as I encounter children with ever widening gaps in their knowledge. Do I use the quick fix and teach them the meaning of an unknown word? Or try something a bit more difficult and instead teach them how to use a dictionary? Or better still, do I try to teach them the importance of reading something new each day to continually expand both their vocabulary and their minds? This type of thinking is not the easy route and is definitely the road less traveled, but it is necessary to fix the broken parts of our education system, and our society as a whole.
So there is my 2 cents In exchange for reading I will also provide you with a yummy, easy and very versatile meatball recipe. And a close up picture of my dog looking rather forlorn. You’re welcome.