In one of his final sermons, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to his congregation about "The Drum Major Instinct"- the idea that we all want to be important, successful, recognized and praised for what we do in life. However, he finishes reminding his congregation that although the drum major instinct can be destructive, it can also be a force for good:
"I'd like somebody to mention [at my funeral that I] tried to give [my] life serving others... I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry... that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked... that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison... that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."
As we kick off the New Year, Dr. King's words serve as a reminder that we should stand up for the causes we believe in--and you are never too young to be a catalyst for change. His work reminds us that every one of us can be changemakers.
With Martin Luther King Day coming up on January 16, we have created easy ways for you to celebrate his life and legacy and be a changemaker through service:
1.Use the tools and resources we've created to learn more about Dr. King and serve your community.
2.Visit All For Good to find a project happening near you.
Change doesn't have to be as big as Dr. King's March on Washington. It can be as simple as creating care packages for people in need, cleaning up graffiti in your community, or making a peace installation to foster tolerance. Small acts of service can make a big impact--and a big change--in someone's life. All it takes is one person stepping up and being a changemaker.
- Click here for project guides on diversity, peace and community cleanup!
- Click here for lesson plans on civil disobedience and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!