It Starts with ME- How I Plan to Honor His Memory

This quote from Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my favorites. I love it so much, that I paid his estate to use it in my award-winning book, This Is The Earth.


These words have been on my mind more and more these days as people are seemingly getting ruder, unhappier, and more impatient. The mission, for us all to walk this Earth as Brothers and Sisters has never been easy, but it is indeed more challenging than ever.

I believe that people have a common thread running through them. Most of us have a sense of hope, a sense of faith, and a sense of family. This thread is the knowledge that we all need to be decent and kind human beings. The problem is, many have trouble maintaining that thread of decency for a whole day. Some of us can’t maintain for a morning. We are all more stressed, over-informed, criticized, judged, and pressured than ever. And it shows.

Caught in rush hour traffic recently, I made a turn in front of a driver who was easily three car lengths away from me. I’m no stranger to rush hour; when you have a chance to go forward and keep traffic moving, you take it. The woman was in no danger. Nor was I. Yet her response was to throw her hands into the air in disgust and lay on her horn. The way her lips were moving, I’m sure there was a curse word (or two, or three…) flying as well. I looked at her for a moment and she was FURIOUS. This over-reaction messed up both of our days.

And it didn’t need to happen. Energy poorly spent. 

We are all fighting a silent battle. This driver could have been late to an oncology appointment, rushing to pick up a sick child from school, or dealing with some bad news that she hadn’t had time to process. I try to keep this in mind as I interact with all types of people throughout the day. We all need forgiveness. We all need patience. We all need grace.

So why is it so hard for us to unite as a human race? I can tell you that the belief that keeps me from giving up on humanity altogether is the knowledge that it starts with me and my persistent hope that I can be a ripple. 

People get so bogged down by all the complex and grandiose messages floating around on “what it takes to be a good person” and helping others do the same that they never have the time or energy to implement it.

In reality, it is very simple. It all starts with us. Our actions. Our thoughts. Our conduct. If we each individually focus on making a conscious effort to conduct ourselves with kindness, patience, and empathy, it will significantly affect us. All of us.

We need to make a point not to let the little things that threaten to destroy our day, destroy our day.

As we move forward in this New Year and pay respect to one of our greatest thought leaders on January 17th, I hope you are also inspired to walk this path with me. Watch me work on myself, which will encourage you, to work on yourself.

Join me.


This message bears repeating: peace is meant for all of us.

A habit that includes nature and relaxation, along with cultivating a passion for peace, can be found in one of our favorite pastimes; reading.

Children’s books also help young readers to see and appreciate that everyone is unique. This promotes diversity, understanding of different struggles or victories, open-mindedness, and a desire for PEACE.

This is the Earth by Deedee Cummings

This is the Earth is not a book about Mother Earth, but instead, it’s a much-needed story of how all of the inhabitants of the planet can live better together. A Purple Dragonfly Award First Place winner, Cummings uses bold and bright illustrations in This is the Earth to share a message of peace, love, respect, compassion, inclusion. Published in early 2019, the book’s message shares that peace is meant for all of us and it is everyone’s responsibility to care for each other like the united family that we really are.

This exceptional and timely book shares the reality that we are all sharing this world that we call home instead of acting as though each continent, each, country, and each neighborhood is like a completely different planet. Within the pages of This is the Earth, readers will discover thought and conversation-invoking concepts on issues and struggles that have our world at odds with each other. Kids and adults will love the lyrical message and thoughtful artwork that reinforces the fact that every human being is our neighbor on Planet Earth; a place also known as Home. {ages 4 and up}.

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 15 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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