Across America, on Martin Luther King Day and our National Day of Service, we sit together at our community’s family table, facilitating and inspiring at the most local level the compassion for and belief in our fellow man.
Particularly in Tucson in these unsettled times such a day of service is a joyful release from current horrors. Symbols of tragedy at my local Safeway flood media, but I know these will subside soon, as the media moves on to the next headline. I look for ways now to work against the depression that still will be embedded in my community beyond the camera’s eye.
Participation in our National Day of Service is a way to rise above the mess. It is day to affirm goodness and compassion. What I think about:
- There are the millions of volunteers who work tens of millions of hours each year to reflect compassion and service. Here in Tucson, volunteerism is a part of citizenry. All non-profits (and there are many) are sustained through selfless actions of volunteers. I salute you all and try to do my small part on your team.
- There are the tried and true powerful programs that ensure compassion in our communities. So many to recognize but perhaps in these times Ben’s Bells reflects the goodness of them all.
- There are the thousands of partnerships that facilitate and support those in our community who are in despair and need help. I like Good Magazine for discussing so many partnerships and stewardship collaborations. May we all be a partner in some quest that is good.
Last week, President Obama showed his compassion by visiting our hurt city and by challenging each of us to seek a way to live up to the dreams and spirit of those lost, like beautiful Christina. So every day now, I ask myself to move away from the buzz and seek ways to do something meaningful at my local level.
One step at a time. One community at a time. Working together to build upon a commitment each of us makes.
I am fortunate to know many individuals in an informal partnership to focus on kindness. They’re Tucsonans as well as friends from afar – motivated not by a scorecard of self-interest but by a sense of personal stewardship, of commitment to a “vision for America.”
On our National Day of Service let’s celebrate individual positive action and community quality of life. Let’s bring to life the values I hope we all share!
To mark the 25th anniversary of the MLK Holiday and to encourage ongoing service throughout the year, the MLK 25 Challenge was launched– a call to all Americans to honor Dr. King by pledging to take at least 25 actions during 2011 to make a difference for others and strengthen our communities. What are you doing to accept the challenge?