Happy Martin Luther King Day!
"...the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others"
Apparently today is 'Blue Monday', the most miserable Monday in the year. After the bright lights of Christmas have been dismantled and unless you have a birthday imminent, your high street and home street are defunct of colour until Valentines. As a teacher, this week was bang in the middle of an uphill slog to the dark February half-term which would then be crammed full of the joy that is assessment and coursework marking.
But luckily (and so immensely relevant in light of US activities this week) there is a little red, white and blue glimmer of light for this week. Today is Martin Luther King Day.
"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way!
It's been a pretty muddy, rainy, cold, kids-in-the-middle-of-the-term-tired weekend so I'm looking to start the week with love and a bit of history thrown into the mix.
MLK's life and work may be taught in some schools but I'm going to add a little bonus learning to our afternoon and open up a discussion about prejudice and tolerance. I want to hear what they think (and see whether we' ve been raising 'em right!).
The 'apple' or 'egg' experiments could be a starting point and I'll let them take it from there.
Or asking them to imagine life in a time of segregation: How would it change the life they have now? What would happen to their friendships? Or family? Being mixed heritage, I imagine my 3G will be throwing some interesting questions my way.
"What matters is not how long you live...but how you live"
To avoid a 'you must talk now' moment, whilst we chat I'm hoping they're up for writing their views encompassing MLK's desires.
So a poem entitled 'I have a dream' or 'My dreams for tomorrow'.
Or filling in a template cloud with finished sentences : A dream for me, A dream for my family, A dream for my world. Hang it up and display the wishes of your offspring...then tuck it a box ready to whip out on their 18th birthday!
"The time is always right to do what is right"
Then to the conjuring up the atmosphere of MLK's time - well the good bits anyway - the music and the food. My lot are used to hearing an eclectic mix of music at Twickers Towers and today will be no exception. 1963 Soul can ease our way into dinner time. This may not bode well for the 3G but I'll keep them busy with the cooking and enjoy some solo-boogieing!
Tonight will be a dinner that has been alleged to be MLK's favourite Southern Soul Food : fried chicken, sweet potato, green beans and mac & cheese. This is definitely food to warm the greyness out of a grizzly Monday.
"I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear"
And finally, forgiveness. Many of MLK's words reflect on the power of forgiveness. Something that can be hard but required during all our lives. Who and why should we forgive? What might happen to us if we don't learn to forgive others?
I'm not one for heaping my political opinions onto my children - they read therefore they will find their way - but the messages here are about being a good human. That is one rule in our home that they must abide by.
"Our lives begin to end the day
we become silent about the things that matter"