To the Editor:

What Are You Doing For Others?

Monday was the national MLK Day of Service and I’ve been thinking about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK means so many things to so many people. His legacy is not just a dream, but a litany of actions with many lessons to teach us.

MLK has many answers for the questions we ask ourselves today, especially about peace and protest. One of my favorite MLK quotes is not an answer but a question, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

We need to not just accept, but rejoice that there’s not one right answer. Life will always be full of disagreement. We can respect each other through compromise, without compromising ourselves or our beliefs. We can have constructive conflict, instead of destructive conflicts, if we ask the right questions. I can’t think of a better place to start than “What am I doing for others?”

With the pandemic there are less opportunities to volunteer in the community. But there are no limits for the opportunity to serve each other by listening to each other and learning from each other. I plan on volunteering at a local food pantry on MLK Day, but just as important, I plan on educating myself. There are many social justice workshops happening locally and online with the Maine NAACP, Maine Development Foundation, Portland Chamber and others. I encourage you to join me in listening and learning and finding your own right questions.

Orion Breen


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