How often do you think of others? I spend the majority of my day thinking about myself. I think about the things I need to get done at work, what I am eating for lunch, what I have to get done at home after work and a multitude of other things that revolve around me. Maybe I am unusually self-centered, but I would bet money that I am not. It is easy for us to get caught up in our own lives and live in silos – mentally in isolation from the world around us. Sometimes it takes a catalyst to change our thinking. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was such a catalyst and each year we remember his life and his message. His impact is well known and he gave everything, including his life, in the pursuit of justice and equality for all. As he famously said:
“An individual has not started living fully until they can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity. Every person must decide at some point, whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment: Life’s most persistent and important question is, what are you doing for others?”
What are you doing for others? The people of Asante Africa Foundation are focused on keeping the youth of rural East Africa in school, learning relevant skills and tools that will allow them to advance as change agents in their communities. Their efforts shine brightly in the wonderful success stories such as that of Carolyne Sunte and Samson Nyongesa. These people are not just the staff conducting business in California and East Africa. Rather, it includes each and every one of our beloved donors who also give their hard-earned money, which they invested their time earning, to support Asante Africa Foundation’s mission.
With their help, Asante Africa Foundation is able to make a difference correcting educational and social injustices in an impoverished region. It is our calling. Dr. King heard that call as well. He felt that the world was connected and part of the same story. One could not simply dig a hole and hide – hoping never to have an impact or be impacted. It was unavoidable. In Dr. King’s own words:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Today, nearly 50 years after his assassination, Dr. King continues to impact the world through the efforts of others to keep his message and memories alive. It was not easy work. Though the legislation creating the federal holiday was passed and signed into law in 1983, it was not until 2000 that ever state recognized the holiday. Spend some time and reflect. What are you doing for others? The smallest act can change a life, even change the world.
– Written by Joshua Donnelly
You have an opportunity to engage with Asante Africa Foundation in more than one way. To volunteer click here. To support education click here.