So next Monday is Marten Luther King Day. It is nationally known as a day of service. What does this day of service mean for you? And have you noticed that none of our presidents or other leaders have a day of service connected with their names. Why is that?
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor proper, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
Dr King was an advocate of peaceful disagreement; and an advocate of helping each other wherever he could.
“Everybody can be great…. because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
For the most essential service, the thing that most often comes to mind is the service by Police, Firefighters and EMS. I don’t know how it works where you are but here in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, when an ambulance responds to a call for help, often they will say they are “in service.” Or if a police officer signs on the radio for the start of their shift they say they are “in service till 11 PM.” If a unit is not able to do what they need to do it is known as “Out of Service”.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”
I want to challenge your thoughts about service. Many people will tell you that they feel better after they perform some type of service. Service is not only a concept of helping someone in a big way. Service, in my opinion, is also holding the door for the parent that is struggling with a screaming kid, or a stroller. When you call a friend for their support or opinion, they are “in service” to you. So, when you offer yourself to someone in giving them a hug, an ear, advice or even larger as calling 911 to get them help after a car accident, you are in service to them.
And do you remember the story from the Big Book when Bill complains to Lois that the men he works with are not staying sober? And Lois answers, “But Bill, you are”
As we move forward in the year, I encourage you to be in service to whomever you come in contact with. Often you will find, that you get a smile, a thank you or some other form of acknowledgment of your service to them. If we develop a community of people and we are all in service to each other, life gets easier. Then we have a friend to call and ask that they “just talk” to us as we drive to work for a big meeting. We each have someone that we can exchange “safe” recipes with. We each have someone to call at midnight when we find out someone is in the hospital.
“The service we all play when we help another suffering person, benefits us at least as much as it does them.”
The Twelve Step Programs give us all the opportunity to be of service to each other; in helping each other, we are able to grow stronger.
It’s because of Martin Luther King and the efforts of his supporters that America came to understand the power of nonviolent protest. When his nonviolent efforts were met with violence, it actually garnered empathy and support for his cause. The public was swayed to such a magnitude that major acts of Congressional power were set in motion
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. only Light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: “What are you doing for others?””
As we celebrate the achievements of this one man, may we find it in our hearts to do just a bit of service to another suffering person.
Blessings to you,
Note: The red quotations are Dr Kings as offered by Google; the black comments are mine.