January 16 2017

Do you have a Dream? Do you have a plan?
A flood of thoughts come to mind when we think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the day of observance in his honor.  Many times when Americans create a day of observance, the day becomes little more than a holiday for most of us. A day OFF from work, school, and the norms and patterns of life.  A day to catch up on our to-do lists or finish taking down the Christmas decorations.  But the challenge, given to us by the Corporation for National and Community Service, is to make this MLK Day and long weekend a day ON. A day turned ON to new conversation, community service, thought provoking reading, or true listening.  A day to get out of our routines with an acute awareness of the needs of others and our communities … thinking, creating, dreaming.

An adaptation of Antione de Saint-Exupery’s famous quote, “They say that a dream without a plan is just a wish, but I find that a plan without a dream is just a task,” brings Dr. King’s “I have a dream” message home.  

One of our community’s favorite sons, Norman Saurage, founder of Community Coffee, was known for sharing his wisdom with young entrepreneurs. He listened to their dreams, studied their plans and answered their questions. Then he asked them a question about their “big hairy bodacious goal”. If they didn’t have a goal that was almost impossible, he told them to go home and think about it. 

We at Manners of the Heart have a “big hairy bodacious goal”, a dream of a better Baton Rouge for generations to come. And we have a plan. Our plan begins with equipping our elementary schools with our heart education curriculum, Manners of the Heart. It continues with encouraging families with parenting books and workshops. And now, creating a movement, #BRRespect, in our community that brings us back together through newfound respect for one another.   

We invite you to dream with us. To dream not for personal gain or glory, but for the things Dr. King and so many other leaders throughout our nation’s history have challenged us to dream for: Peace, Human Dignity, Service for others, Nonviolence, and a better tomorrow.  

We invite you to join the movement and take The Pledge of Respect. Honor his memory by joining us as we move forward in restoring respect within our community. 

We cannot walk alone.  
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead.  
We cannot turn back.      
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Choose Respect.  #BRRespect

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