|HH The Dalai Lama, Coretta Scott King and Dexter King 2006|
Each 3rd Monday is a national holiday in the United States, celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many of us have heard or read his famous, “I Have A Dream” speech. Click on the title and you and your older kids can listen to the speech.
One of my favorite quotes of Dr. King's is this one, from an anti-Vietnam war speech he gave in 1968:
“On some positions cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’
Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’
Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’
But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’
And there comes a point when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
This is the perfect day to discuss what this means with your children. Who MLK, Jr. was, what he did, what segregation was, what racism is, and how these things affect us today.
Martin Luther King, Jr, died at 39 years old. It hardly seems possible, does it? Yet he accomplished so much, and like his hero Mahatma Gandhi, he did it emphasizing compassion and nonviolence. Ahimsa.
Dr. King's son, Dexter, later took that philosophy a step further and became a vegan, as did his mother. Coretta Scott King was a vegan the last 15 years of her life.
I'm not asking you to be a vegan, or for you or your children to be vegetarians - although if you're leaning that way, I think it's a great idea. I am suggesting that you consider going 'meat free' once a week - for your health, for the environment, and to give a few animals a break.
Since this is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Meat Free Monday - how about deliberately having at least one meatless meal, and talking with your kids about why you're doing it?I'd love to hear your comments.