Here's why The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is loved, remembered and celebrated: He was tremendously successful in transforming our society in a positive way, and he did it with grace and love.

Make no mistake: Dr. King held fast to principles, refused to back down, persevered, and all the rest. But he never called for violence, never even called names. He treated oppressors with respect, and urged friends to practice good values.

In this modern age of uncivil behavior, let us take a moment to remember what it's like when someone fights for a noble cause with dignity and decency. My wish for this Martin Luther King Day is for all Americans, actually all citizens of the world, to learn from Dr. King's example. For our political debates to reintroduce respect for the other side. For our media to look for constructive debate, not adolescent posturing. For our reality TV shows to honor goodness and mercy, not petty bickering. For our daily interactions to be marked by deference and understanding, not indignant demands. For our religious differences to recede in the face of common values.

Special thanks to Facebook friends Mark Bain, Mike Paul, Jim Keller, Judith Czelusniak and Michelle Hinson for inspirational MLK posts. You got me thinking.