Being that today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to tell my four-year-old the significance of this day.
There is a lot I could tell him about Martin Luther King, Jr. and our nation’s history. There will be a time in a few years in which he can learn about the atrocities of the past and how we learn from history, but for now I will let him enjoy the innocence of being four. So I told him that there was a time when kids with different skin color couldn’t play together, go to the same school, eat at the same restaurants, use the same drinking fountain, or ride the same trains. (He LOVES trains so it seemed fitting to use train instead of bus. We will save that story for another time.) I explained that Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted to make sure that boys and girls could be friends regardless of their skin color. I told him that he had a famous speech in which he stated that he had a dream that one day people would not be judged by the color of the skin. And that boys and girls could play together and enjoy the same activities regardless of their appearance.
He was quiet for a moment. (I couldn’t tell if he was actually thinking about what I just said or contemplating what toy to play with next.)
Then he looked at me and said, “So it’s about love.”
I then thought of one of the most widely known definitions of love: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Yes, my darling son, it is about love.