On Saturday, January 23rd, over 100 students, faculty, staff, and community members went out for an early morning of service projects. The day of service was the final installment in our campus’ week-long celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Members of the Whitman community connected with 12 different Walla Walla organizations putting in hundreds of hours of collaborative effort, but they also joined people in spirit from across the country as national days of service were organized throughout these past two weeks.
MLK, Jr. once told us that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” The kind of collaborative community service work that happened last Saturday is certainly one among many ways to respond to his question. Students at Whitman resonate on some level with this urgency every time they volunteer, every time they spend an hour working in the community for the mutual benefit of others when they could be studying. We choose to do it now, we choose to put others first because we agree with Dr. King: it simply cannot wait.
“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.” – Martin Luther King Jr.