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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 18, 2010

An occasion to 'give back'

Besides his gift for thrilling oratory, Martin Luther King Jr. was all about action. Peaceful action, nonviolent action to be sure, but action, he believed, speaks louder than words.

It's no wonder that the holiday named for this civil rights icon has evolved into a national day of service. King believed in the power of people working for the common good to improve the lives of all.

This is a day off for many workers, but rather than use it merely for a beach outing, why not explore some of the ways people today, more than 40 years after his death, can "give back" to the community as he did?

It doesn't take a revolutionary sacrifice, or even a big project. Grabbing a trash bag to pick up some of the litter at that beach park could be one gesture, or simply calling a shut-in to brighten his or her day.

There are lots of ideas for every community, searchable through the site serve.gov everything from helping push for public-minded legislation to working in a community garden.

Today is King's birthday. Any effort to make our little corner of the world a better place would be a gift he'd surely appreciate.