Thought for the Week
“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline…we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”
Today America celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s fame is tied, of course, to his leadership in producing positive change for black Americans. But he is equally famous for insisting that that change be accomplished through peaceful, respectful means, through loving rather than hating our enemies—who so often turn out to be our neighbors. Dr. King loved his friends. But he also loved his enemies.
How desperately we need his legacy today. True, many told Dr. King (and Gandhi, and Mandela, and Jesus) that “only force and fear can produce change!” But the problem, Dr. King knew, was that after the smoke cleared, we would all have to face the future together—those who’d forced the change and those upon whom it was forced.
If change is not brought about peacefully, respectfully, it doesn’t last. Instead, it only lays the groundwork for the next act of violent, forceful change.
And on and on it goes.
So let us refuse to drink from the cup of bitterness and hatred. Instead, let us “rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force,” of driving out hatred…