By Aricka Croxton
When I was younger, I always taught and showed how important Martin Luther King Jr. is. I remember doing activities in school about what our dreams were and how we could change the world for the better. Many of my teachers had posters of him hanging around the classroom and often referred to them. He was introduced to me as a person who had a big impact on the world and helped pushed the Civil Rights Movement.
I believe Dr. King taught people to be more open and speak up about issues they are concerned about. If you notice an issue that you don’t think is right, say something about it and try to do something about it. There’s a possibility that others may see the issue too, but could be too scared to speak up about it or don’t know how to say it. This lesson influenced me to speak up about issues and try to do something about it.
Dr. King also taught me that I have to take risks when I’m doing something I believe in. There’s always a risk when you’re trying to achieve something and sometimes you have to take the risk if you know it’s the right thing. As a journalist, you
may have to take a lot of risks to uncover a story or try to find more
information about an issue. It may cost you your job or your life. But if you
decide to do nothing, it may cause a greater issue to occur.
The last lesson he taught is to be peaceful. Being nonviolence is the philosophy of Dr. King. He wanted to show people that there is always a way to achieve something without being violent. You can go against something without being hostile and you can achieve something without hurting anyone. It’s just the way you go about it. You’re more likely to get farther with peace than you are with violence.
These lessons influence me to be peaceful, take risks when needed and to speak when something needs to be said. He is an important activist that people usually ignore until Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. King showed people a different way to deal with situations and how to cope with them and he should be appreciated on days other than the third Monday of January.
Aricka Croxton is a Junior Fellow at The PuLSE Institute.