Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. If you have the day off, there are things you can do to make the most of your free time in the spirit of this day, rather than wasting it lounging around. If you’re at school or work today (Indiana’s inconsistent like that), well, it’s still possible to squeeze some things in and make this more than just another Monday.

Here are a few little things you can do for today (also known as “the least you could do”):

  • Do a good deed: Today is a big day for volunteering in communities across the country. But if you’re unable to be directly involved in any major charity endeavors or causes, even doing little things are good. For example, help your neighbors without expecting anything in return, whether it’s something simple like helping with menial tasks or chores or something major. If someone you know is in need of personal guidance or emotional support, be there for them.
  • Look at how the other half lives: There’s a bigger world out there, one where things are more complex than your limited experience. So, instead of judging all people or events through the lens of your own individual worldview, look at the bigger picture. Read up on different perspectives on the world and its issues, and do so leaving your personal standards and biases behind (as a matter of fact, it’s not a bad idea to even intentionally seek out things toward which your first reaction is disagreement). You’ll come to understand other people and the world better, and see that things didn’t all the sudden become perfect after the Civil Rights era.
  • Talk to each other…and listen: See above. Also, you won’t see much of this in an election year (and so far, it’s looking to be a pretty nasty one), but it’s possible to talk about things like adults, with civility, substance, and facts instead of irrelevancies and cheap shots. New perspectives can only enlighten you, even if they don’t change your mind. So, start a conversation.

After doing one or all of these things, ask yourself: would it really be so hard to behave like this every day, rather than just one day a year when you feel like you have to?

 

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