This morning, while the kids ate their waffles and strawberries, I played for them a YouTube video on my phone which I placed at the centre of the dining table. The kids were quiet (rare) as they listened to Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Prior to playing the video for them, I gave them a brief intro to who he was, what he stood for and the non-violent ways in which he stood up for what was right. I told them about the trip we made to Atlanta, GA with some friends when my oldest daughter was 4 and my son was 15 months old – a trip that included a visit to MLK Jr’s birth home, church and the National Historic Site dedicated in his honour.

After dropping them off to school, I sifted through my photos of that trip which truly held some of the most moving moments of my life (including a visit to a former plantation and slaves quarters). I have a rekindled spark in me to share this world with my kids – not just to enjoy its pretty destinations, but to experience other cultures, visit historical sites and learn the stories that haunt our human history. The world has it all and I want my children to feel they belong to it.

martin luther king jr, atlanta georgia, mlk jr, birth home

The house in which MLK Jr was born and raised.

If you’d like to share some inspiring quotes by MLK Jr with your school-aged children, here are my favourites. What would you add to this list? Please leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

  1. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  2. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.
  3. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
  4. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
  5. The time is always right to do what is right.
  6. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
  7. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
  8. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
  9. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
  10. We may all have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative