A friend of mine posted this question on Facebook today. Immediately I thought of a quotation by Martin Luther King, Jr. which I first saw etched into a rock outside the Seattle Center.
“Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”
I like this quotation (taken from part of a speech) on so many levels and think it is very relevant in today’s political environment.
As a people, we spend an inordinate amount of time gossiping, conniving, degrading, feeling angry, peeved and annoyed. We are quick to attack and slow to see the perspective of others. We are quick to lambast the problem makers and slow to help be part of the solution. We love categories and divisions and taking up sides.
And none of it seems to do anything really productive in the long run. At least, it’s not for me and the resulting energy that is created does nothing to improve my home life.
I do gossip and gripe and think judgemental thoughts. I roll my eyes and want to solve problems with a, “FINE!”, but I try not to.
I remember once seeing a photo in a magazine of an old man standing by the side of the road, outside his house, with a sign declaring hatred towards some group. I can’t even remember who he had dedicated his life towards hating, but I remember thinking what a sad life for his soul – his expression and his body were wracked with years of venemous toxins.
I do try to use this quotation by Martin Luther King, Jr. as a guiding philosophy with friends, co-workers, community members and others. I want to live in a community where we work together to create something that works for everyone. I don’t want to lay blame on teenagers, hooligans and miscreants for being lost and angry. Instead I want to help provide the layer of support they need to find their way in a very large world.
What’s your favorite Civil Right’s Quote?