January 15, 2012

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr.

The question which was asked some while ago has gone without written response for quite a time. This does not mean it has not been on my mind, and it may well be on yours also. It just has not been written on since 2010. In truth, there has been a serious lack of writing on any and all topics on this blog of late. Perhaps that is a sign. Of what exactly I am not sure. Perhaps I have been off engaged in more pressing and meaningful tasks. There have been many topics that I have wanted to write on, a few even got started, but nothing substantial has been posted in months. Yet, the question still rings, many questions still ring. If there is one thing that has become more apparent in the past year, is that we are not really in search of the right answers, we are in search of the right questions. Thus, there are no doubt many more questions to be asked.

This date in history usually gets me pondering and reading, and I came across one of my favourite quotes, which also contains a question. Thus, King’s question goes above. It is an open ended question – much better than one requiring a yes or no response. I do not doubt we would find ourselves to be good people, and good enough more often, if we asked ourselves this question more often.

King would have been 83 today.


2 thoughts on “January 15, 2012

  1. I often reflect on the demise of community involvement and contribution – from shoveling a neighbour’s walk (something of pressing importance in Ottawa!) to volunteering…to even a happy “good morning” as you pass a stranger in the street. In my personal life, too, I also struggle with the notion of “what I am doing for others”. In our society today we are so often caught up on our own needs and interests – trends in self-help discourses teach us to “do what’s right for me” – that we don’t realize how dependent we are on others.

    • Thanks for your comment Sydney. Each of your examples are ones that I too ponder at times. Specifically, of late I’ve noted how I sometimes startle people in my neighbourhood by saying hello to them when I am out for a walk. Yet, I am optimistic when the youth I work with extend a “good morning” with enthusiasm each and every day. It’s a simple trend that I wish was more prevalent throughout our communities. Yet, as you suggest, the onus is on us to do more than wish, it’s to get out there and act, and treat others well – thanks!

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