Editor’s note: Salem State University’s annual MLK Jr. Convocation took place Monday, Jan 28. The university held an essay-writing contest for North Shore elementary, middle and high schools, asking students to write about how MLK’s legacy is alive in today’s violent world. The winners in the three categories were invited to read their essays at the convocation. Two of the winning essays were written by students from Salem. Kelsey Currier-Dougherty is from the Saltonstall Elementary School and Anibelys Flores is from Salem High.
Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. That dream came true. However, there are still many dreams for others everywhere, like dreams of a kind, fair world. Dreams of a non-judgmental place on earth, where no one is mistreated because of the things they can’t help — their skin color, ethnicity or special needs. People are even judged by their gender or religion. There are equal rights for the people of America, but some people, here and around the world, still struggle from this and many other social problems that should be stopped.
We all have a place in the puzzle. You can decide whether your piece fits inside.
Problems like these cause slavery, wars, violence, and unfairness in communities everywhere. These oppressed people need warm thoughts sent their way. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Kids can show love by treating everyone fairly and including everyone. If you put out happiness into the world, it will come back to you. Kindness, peace and caring words, not hate, are the answer.
We can stand up to these problems. Staying strong for what you believe in can contribute to wishes and dreams. Standing up for others who are bullied can make a difference. A simple hello can help change the world. Don’t stop there.
There are people without homes, some who are sick and those who are mistreated. We need to take action! Donate, feed and be kind. Hunger can be stopped when you donate food to a local food bank. You can help by donating clothes that you don’t need. Soon the whole world could be smiling. Laughter could be the best medicine.
We need to take action in order to have these dreams come true. Our world could be more peaceful. We can live in peace and harmony in due time by being kind and standing up for what is right. Many dreams are truth thanks to Dr. King, but there are still more dreams. If everyone does their part, we can say that these dreams came true too.
Kelsey Currier-Dougherty is a sixth-grade student at the Saltonstall Elementary School in Salem.