At ASEA, our mission is to better people’s lives and to be a force for good in the world. Part of our core values is the firm belief that humanity and people matter, regardless of what they can do for us or what role they play in our individual lives. As we honor the 37th year since Martin Luther King Jr Day was signed into law and first observed, we are reminded of how we can apply the value of humanity in our daily lives. 

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson for the Civil Rights Movement between 1955 and 1968. He is known for progressing human civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, encouraged by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent beliefs of Mahatma Gandhi. On 14 October 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. 

King taught that all men and women are created equal and should not “be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” He fought for equal rights and fair treatment for people of all races, cultures, and origins. At ASEA, we advocate for treating all people the way you would want to be treated, with kindness and fairness. Although we may be different in many ways, the things that make us great as a human race are all the ways we are similar to our neighbors and community members. Each of us wants to love and be loved by others and, as the Declaration of Independence states, to experience “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

As we start a new year, we offer you a challenge to be a little kinder, speak a little softer, and do more for the people you meet during your day-to-day grind. Try exhibiting a little more patience in traffic, let someone in front of you at the grocery store, help a stranger carry things out to their car, bring back your neighbor’s garbage cans in from the street to their house, or make the employee at the bank or post office smile by saying, “Thank you.” It’s the little, everyday things that can make all the difference. Together, we can honor Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy by always keeping our collective humanity at the forefront of our minds. 

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.