Today, my son joined friends at a Martin Luther King Jr. Rally in Detroit. Although I was unable attend, I took a moment to reflect on my favorite quote by Dr. King: "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education."
Upon this reflection, I found a deeper connection with these words than ever before. In my interpretation, Dr. King emphasized the importance of not only nurturing cognitive abilities but also cultivating character traits that contribute to the whole person. This lead me to think about the essential roles of teaching kindness and empathy, particularly when discussing inclusivity and diversity.
I believe that Dr. King envisioned education that went beyond textbooks. An environment where students can learn to appreciate and respect the unique perspectives and backgrounds of their classmates. By fostering traits of kindness and empathy, we are contributing to his dream of a world where individuals are judged by character rather than physical attributes.
As a firm believer that books serve as both mirrors and windows, allowing readers to see themselves and understand different perspectives, I see Annie's story as my way of advancing that dream. While holidays hold varied significance for many, Annie's story exemplifies that not everyone celebrates the same occasions or in the same way. By sharing her perspective and recounting my childhood experiences, I aim to expose my readers to different cultural insights, ensuring that every child feels respected and that they belong.
Today, let's take a moment to celebrate diversity and acknowledge that, despite our differences, we are all connected and share commonalities.