A member of my union recently shared a wonderful quote with me. St. Francis of Assisi once said, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."
At the time he told me this, my fellow union member was referring to some high-ranking government officials who seem to have adopted a creed, which says that flowery words can make up for a lack of action. As our meetings progressed, the compelling quotation proved to be right on point.
After that day's meetings, the words of St. Francis stuck with me. I was particularly moved by the notion of letting one's actions declare his or her beliefs. The thought stayed with me through Martin Luther King Day.
Surely, there can be no better example of a person whom, though immeasurably profound in his speech, was defined by his actions. And I can think of no better way to celebrate Dr. King's legacy than following the sage advice of St. Francis.
As we do each year, we take the day to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Yet, we need to extend ourselves further, by sharing his life's lessons with all those whom we meet. If necessary (but only if necessary), we should use words when we do so.