Martin Luther King Jr. Day

This week, we are remembering Martin Luther King Jr, who inspired millions with his courage, perseverance, and eloquence. I remember his “I Have a Dream” speech well, which I learned about in elementary school. Although its meaning was not completely grasped by my young mind at the time, I remember seeing the video of the speech and was in awe at the power of his passion and conviction. Later as an adult, and finally recognizing the immense significance of who he was and what he did, I am still in awe of his strength, courage, and his love for not just his people, but people of all colors and ethnicities.

His words were powerful then and they are powerful now. As we reflect on some of his most memorable quotes, they can serve as further inspiration in our own lives to stand up for ourselves when it matters most.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

King believed taking action was the impetus to change. Without it, we wouldn’t see any progress. For anyone struggling with their mental health, admitting that you’re struggling is a difficult, but necessary, first step to getting the help you need.

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

Many people with mental illness suffer in silence. This is especially common in men. King’s words remind us that staying silent when we are suffering is a betrayal of ourselves, which only causes us further pain. Find your voice and the courage to speak up. You’re worth it.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

It’s okay if the best you can do today is get out of bed. Meet yourself where you’re at and treat each day as a fresh start. Set small achievable goals for yourself, like getting outside for a walk or scheduling an appointment with a therapist and remember, every positive action you take brings you one step closer to a happy, healthier you.

Lillian Kui

Mental Health Student Intern

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