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4 Character-Building Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we reflect on the countless lessons bestowed upon us that live on with his legacy. As the great civil rights leader who stressed the importance of unity, peace, education, and more, Martin Luther King provided valuable lessons that can be applied to many aspects of life. Beyond living by these inspiring words ourselves, sharing these lessons with young children holds the most power of all, because creating a real difference in the world starts with our children. 

“Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”

It may feel like a natural instinct to fight fire with fire, even if we know the result will only make things worse. When we fight back, we not only make enemies, but in turn make it harder to find solutions to the real issue at hand. By discussing Dr. King’s efforts with children, we can show them there’s another way.

 “The time is always right to do the right thing.”

Decades after being uttered, these words are perhaps more important than ever. Today we must empower our children by teaching them to stand up for what’s right, speak for those who can’t speak up for themselves, and always do the right thing … no matter how hard it may be.

 “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Even more than speaking out when we see a problem or injustice, our children should know there is always something they can do to make the world a better place. Whether it’s helping a friend or sharing a smile, each act of kindness makes the world a better place.

 “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

Finally, we must teach our children to put their hearts into all they do – even the small things. Learning to lead their lives in such a way will contribute to countless great things over the course of a lifetime.

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