As we mark today’s holiday, we honor the life and sacrifice of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I keep thinking about how Dr. King would have responded to the crises we are confronted with daily. His stirring words ring out like a clarion call demanding action. “What are you doing for others?” he again would’ve asked.
We must not limit this question to the confines of a single date on the calendar in January. It has to be a question that we continue to ask of ourselves as motivation 365 days a year.
Dr. King once famously asked: “What good does it do to be able to eat at a lunch counter if you can’t buy a hamburger?” His apt words about the need for economic justice are still applicable today. We must acknowledge that same truth for environmental justice and public health: What good does it do to be able to have rights and freedoms in our country if we can’t safely drink the water or breathe the air? Or if millions of our citizens are denied the essential health care they need to survive? Or quality education and gainful employment for fulfilling and stable livelihood?
I know I continue to have work to do as Congresswoman — and that we all have work to do as Americans and as global citizens.
Today and every day, I try to ask myself “what are you doing for others?” Let us all nurture the inspiration of Dr. King and keep posing that question daily.
Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence
Michigan’s 14th Congressional District