Life of George Washington–The farmer; painted by Stearns
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
Today is the day, in the United States, that we recognize and honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. It’s a day of reflection, service, and recommitment to enacting values that promote freedom, justice, and opportunity equitably afforded to all people. My hope is that you are actually pausing to reflect and appreciate all those, including but not limited to Dr. King, who was part of the incredible journey towards justice that we continue to enact.
There are countless ways to honor Dr. King’s legacy today. I’m sure your local community has activities that you can participate in. Or you can initiate a conversation with your children or friends. Or volunteer. Perhaps as importantly, my ask of you is to stay curious, pay attention, and practice stepping forward–not just in the face of blatant acts of bigotry. Sometimes the supposedly naive yet hurtful...
Written by Jerome Offord Jr., Ph.D.
Words, they do hurt! When I was a child, I repeatedly heard the old-time saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This saying was reflective of the supposed toughness and endurance of the American spirit and was recited by children across the country for generations. Within my own family, this proverb was employed as a deflection to bullying. The verse had a peculiar yet straightforward message: your intimidator cannot harm you unless they resort to physical violence.
However, when words degrade, embarrass, incite hate, or are microaggressive, they demonstrably cause harm and pain. The amplification of harmful words can spawn civil unrest and catalyze violence. Look no further than the recent terrorism that transpired on the U.S. Capital. Five people lost their lives in that attack on our democracy, and...