It is particularly fitting that the national holiday celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. follows so soon after the end of a tumultuous year of violence and intolerance in the United States and around the world.

We have no way of knowing what conclusions Dr. King might have drawn from the year just passed, but perhaps three things he said during his life about issues very much like this, and worse, can give us some guidance on what is demanded of us as global citizens and leaders in communities near and far.

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

 “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

 “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

 And with Dr. King’s words in our hearts and minds we celebrate Black History Month and hope his sentiments will inspire all of us all of the time.