- Letters from the Head of School
Words - “An eloquent lesson to the world”
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Inscribed on Founders Rock on the front lawn of Princeton Academy is a quote from Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat which reads “your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world.” I believe in this. We lead by example… And though, what if one’s words were inextricably bound to one’s example? Words carry meaning and, in many ways, can be the tangible relics of a legacy that serve as an eloquent lesson to the world, forever.
This weekend we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The example of Dr. King no doubt serves as an eloquent lesson of peace, nonviolence, justice, struggle, progress, hope, faith, vision, and much, much more to the world. Indeed, it is what Dr. King and all those courageous souls who coalesced to lead through the Civil Rights Movement did that humanity must pay homage to and be grateful for.
Every year, it is my honor and blessing to view Dr. King deliver his “I Have A Dream Speech” with our 8th Graders. Each year, I am inspired and moved in some unique way. This year, as I watched and listened to Dr. King, I was struck more than ever by the power of his words and rhetorical appeal - what he says, how he says it, and why it matters. Dr. King’s example lives in his words, which provide an eloquent lesson to the world. The words of Dr. King, like poetry in motion, both spoken and written, carry forth his legacy. They live in permanence. They are spoken with a cadence in speeches; they are written with metaphor in essays; they are recorded; they are filmed; they are inscribed in stone surrounding a herculean sculpture memorializing the speaker himself, emerging literally “out of the mountain of despair [as] a stone of hope”, permanently displayed in our nation’s Capitol. Words…
So often we find ourselves saying, “in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Speaking to the future, the example of Dr. King’s words provides an eloquent lesson to our world today. He reminds us that amidst the extraordinary times we are living in, the competency of communication is perhaps the most important skill young leaders can hone. When combined with authentic empathy and an appreciation for another’s perspective, effective communication has the power to bring about positive change in the world. Providing a safe space for students to think critically, articulate their viewpoints, and be celebrated for their unique identities is one of the greatest gifts we can give our young generation and, henceforth, our world. If our schools are truly committed to educating the whole child with purpose and intentionality, along with advancing the imperatives of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in our world, then committing to the development of communication skills must be a priority. At Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, we seek to develop young men to be creative, compassionate and courageous leaders of a just society. Elocution, public speaking and effective communication have always been at the heart of our school’s program. Our young men have a voice.
In the spirit of fellowship, thank you for taking the time to honor the legacy of peace that Dr. King has left us with and for instilling an appreciation of his words in our young men. Together, let us realize The Dream.