Today, we celebrate an exceptional leader. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of integrity and beauty with a passion for progression in promoting equality and nonviolence. His message resonates so clearly, and continues to be relevant many years after his death. His work has inspired people from around the world, but there is still much work to be done.
Since this blog is centered on the spread of peace, and love, I have an excerpt of an essay he wrote in 1964. His message of the power of nonviolence has an indelible strength. Change can and does happen through nonviolence. I am hopeful that one day, the majority of the world will be able to resolve conflicts through nonviolence, and that we can evolve to a place where power is equated with good will, positivity, and the promotion of equality across all genders, all races, and all nationalities, rather than military strength.
Here is a small section of an essay from May 4, 1966, entitled ‘Nonviolence: The Only Road to Freedom‘:
When my home was bombed in 1955 in Montgomery, many men wanted to retaliate, to place an armed guard on my home. But the issue there was not my life, but whether Negroes would achieve first-class treatment on the city’s buses. Had we become distracted by the question of my safety we would have lost the moral offensive and sunk to the level of our oppressors.
I must continue by faith or it is too great a burden to bear and violence, even in self-defense, creates more problems than it solves. Only a refusal to hate or kill can put an end to the chain of violence in the world and lead us toward a community where men can live together without fear. Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.
This qualitative change is key to fostering peace. We must raise our children to understand the consequences of violence, and the eternal beauty of peace and love for the entire human race. We must pledge to work toward equal access to resources across the globe, and equality across class, gender, race, and religion. Do people around the globe come out of their mother’s wombs filled with the need for violence? I think not. The path to world peace is a very complicated one, but the message is simple. Every human born on this earth is born deserving food, shelter, peace, love, and opportunity. Let us do our best to foster the messages of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is in our own best interests, and the future of a better world for our children and the children of the world.
Go in peace. Go in love.