You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

January 19, 2009

MLK & BHO: let’s make it a year, not a day, of service

Filed under: viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 10:58 am

. . . please: not just one Day of Service

With sincere thanks to the millions of Americans who are making Martin Luther King Day “a day on, not a day off” — and especially to those who will be going to work and then going to an MLK service project later today — I want to nag my fellow Americans to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and the spirit of the Obama Nation by making an At-least-a-year-of-service Pledge.  Head over to for suggestions and links to volunteer opportunities.

the monochromatic
winter sky

…. by Ed Markowski

A lot of us folks in the legal profession are woefully short on handy-man skills.  And, frankly, we can achieve a lot more Value Added for our volunteer efforts if we use both our minds and our hearts, rather than our backs and sweat, in service to others.  Although law-related “pro bono” work comes readily to mind for many with law degrees, I hope a lot of lawyers and law students will consider mentoring a child or young parent — as a human being wanting to touch the life of other human beings. I agree with the folks at National Mentoring month:

“When you serve as a mentor, you enrich your own life as much as you do the life of a child. Mentoring leads to new experiences, new connections, new insights, and new satisfactions.”

… January 2009 is National Mentoring Month ..

Learn more about mentoring here.

We’ve talked about MLK Day themes before. And, we have already thanked America for choosing Barack Obama last November.  But, the f/k/a Gang is feeling terribly short on the kind of eloquence that seems adequate to mark the concurrence this week of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the Inauguration of Barack Obama.  So, we’re going to leave the eloquence to our new President and others better equipped for the task.

Like many postings at this weblog, this one is as much an exhortation to myself as to others — putting words on the public record that will help move me to thoughtful, heartfelt, meaningful action in my everyday life, in service to the community (local and national).   Actions are far more important than words; and I believe that quiet individual actions are in the end more important than the rush that comes from being in a crowd in support of a good cause or to be part of a moment of history.  I’m going to mark today with a few rare minutes — away from this addictive and often inconsequential weblog and internet — of focused contemplation as to the best use of my limited time and energy in service this year to others and to our nation.  Something tells me that I’m going to decide that less blogging and more mentoring is a far more productive and satisfying use of my time.

— photo of the Mohawk River at Schenectady, NY, Jan. 18, 2009; by D. Giacalone —

p.s. Don’t forget to join Yolanda Young’s Blawg Review #195, her special Martin Luther King, Jr. Day edition of Blawg Review.  In addition to providing commentary and musings on this year’s celebration, she links to MLK stories from around the blawgosphere.  (I love the tagline at her On Being A Black Lawyer weblog; it’s a quote from Charles Hamilton Houston: “A lawyer is either a social engineer or a parasite.”)

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress