In honor of his birthday, here are a few great quotes from Martin Luther King Jr:
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. ”
“At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”
“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
“Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”
This is my post in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day. I have just returned from seeing Avatar and I am processing yet another very deep movie with lots of layers. One quote that stands out to me from the movie is:
“The strong prey on the weak and nobody does a thing.”
Unfortunately this is the truth about so much that has happened throughout human history. It is the people with money or political standing that get to decide for the rest of us. It was someone with money and power that sent explorers to the new world and encouraged them to steal an entire countryside from the Native Americans. It was someone with money and power that sent ships to Africa to bring back human beings for slave labor. Generations later it was someone with money and power that decided the descendants of those human beings, that were stolen from their home country and forced to America, were not human enough to have the same quality of life as white people.
And I think a lot of people get convinced it’s all OK. They decide that because the “powers that be” are doing it, then it must be just and right. Sometimes those “powers” convince them that it is for the greater good. They turn regular people with feelings and beliefs into enemies. Once you are convinced that people are a threat, you can ignore the tug at your conscience that tries to remind you they are just like you.
Sometimes though someone is strong enough to stand up for what they believe in and risk it all for change. It starts with just one person brave enough to do this. Eventually people start to take notice. They hear the truth in the message. We are all equal. Flesh and blood. Thoughts and emotions. Souls. In these ways we are all connected. Anything I do to another, I do to myself. Every prophet, mystic, Master has told us this.