This past Monday, January 18th, was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This day is extremely important in American history. King was a true inspiration to many and a very important figure in the civil rights movement. This day always reminds me how lucky I am to live in a time when so much progress has been made towards equality. However, it also reminds me that there is so much work still to be done. Racism still exists in America and throughout the world. It sickens me to know that people are hated and discriminated against simply because they look differently.
Recently, my grandfather passed away. Technically he was my step-grandfather, but I hate using that term because he was very much my family, whether we shared DNA or not. He was an African American Army veteran. He was a kind and caring soul. I am very proud to have had him as part of my family and I couldn’t imagine growing up without him there.
I never realized he was different or it was strange when I was younger. I truly never thought about it until others pointed it out. I also have cousins of different races who were adopted. I never saw physical appearance as a definition of family. Family should consists of people who you love unconditionally and will drop everything for when necessary, not simply those who you’re related to. Because of my upbringing and my knowledge of the harsh, unfair and hateful world, MLK Day is very important to me. I am continually working toward bettering civil rights and advancing equality.
Our goal in life should be to live happily and help others in needs despite their appearance or background. You should do good deeds without expecting to be repaid for it. Money and things do not have any meaning, but how others remember you does. Your legacy isn’t about monetary success, but rather the relationships you experience throughout your life.