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The Suburbanite
  • ‘When you serve, you change lives’

  • The issue: King holiday and Obama inauguration

    Our view: Why not make one change this year to better yourself, your community

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  • The issue: King holiday and Obama inauguration
    Our view: Why not make one change this year to better yourself, your community
    The federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday coincides with the presidential inauguration this year, and the symbolism is deep and obvious: The nation’s first black president has achieved Dr. King’s dream.
    In a new year that hints at being even more divisive politically than the year just ended, why don’t we look for individual antidotes to this poison? Why don’t we decide to channel at least one message of this day’s symbolism — that our country is one of inherent opportunities and achievable aspirations — into positive action?
    There is plenty of room in this remarkable country for both personal ambition and service to others. On this auspicious day, can we all commit to making just one change this year to better ourselves and our community?
    More Americans each year decide to celebrate the King holiday not just as the last day off of a long weekend but as a day of service to others. If not today, why not decide to volunteer at an upcoming event that you might otherwise have bypassed? Or spend an afternoon cleaning up the neighborhood, or tutor a child in reading. Or perhaps just decide to listen patiently and to seek common ground the next time the conversation turns to a controversial issue.
    Whether you choose a one-time project or a major commitment of your time and energy, we expect you’ll discover the same reward. As President Obama said in inviting Americans to join this year’s National Day of Service in connection with the King holiday: “When you serve, you change lives — and the life you change most might be your own.”