Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr Day I am going to dedicate this post to his quote:

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

(Why yes, I did steal this idea from the Huff Post.  I say we’re even for their “entertainment” category.  Because I now read that more than the politics section and have developed a strong love/hate relationship with the site.)

Although we have two small children and are unable to do as much charitable works as I would like, we have found a few ways to incorporate the values of that quote:

  • We give 10% of any “unexpected” money including gifts, bonuses, basically anything outside of my husband’s monthly paycheck, to charity.  As a thank you.  And an acknowledgement that we have so much.  I hope one day to give 10% of our total income back but we aren’t there yet — I perhaps don’t trust enough and want too much.  But I hope to get better.  (Oh yeah, and our roof is BROKEN.)  We are giving our money this month for Haiti Earthquake relief.
  • We participate, as a family, in at least one “giving” event each year.  We have small children so it isn’t easy to find something appropriate and at a reasonable time.  One year we did the CROP Hunger Walk.  Last year we helped out at Caritas.
  • We have also attended our share of rallies and protests which may or may not be in keeping with the quote, but is certainly in keeping with our family’s feistiness.  I, in fact, just sent E to school in an Amnesty International T-shirt that states “I’ve got rights.”
I've Got Rights - AI Tshirt
And yes N has a matching onesie.
  • We live green.  I think that recycling, reusing bags and jars and tins, and buying Energy Star products, even when it’s more expensive and/or a pain-in-the-butt, is a way we give back to each other and to the world.  And our city comes right to our curb every other week to pick it up.  So it’s lazy service!

Now, lest you get the wrong idea, we also sit on our butts a lot.  We are materialistic.  And we horde.  I still balk at washing out peanut butter jars.

But we want to grow so I’m not too worried about how we’ll all turn out.

And if none of these ideas appeal to you, I’m open to suggestions.  Please leave them in the comments below!

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

4 thoughts to “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day”

  1. Love the family charity event idea. I often use Riley as an excuse sometimes not to do more, though not on purpose. I try to be the first to sign up to bring a meal or help a friend in need and try to explain to Riley we are being God’s hands and feet. However, I realize I need to broaden the scope to Riley (and let’s face it – myself) to help people we don’t even know together. Any ideas you have are welcomed!

    1. It’s hard. I kept thinking that we would do soup kitchens all the time but the kids have a five-minute interest button and then it’s all over the place. Our church does the intake for Caritas so that’s helpful because it’s shorter. Both Scott and I have to go because one does spend most of the time chasing the kids. I still think that the experience is worth it. But only once or twice a year with the whole family.

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