Today, I reflect on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
How angry and frustrated we become when we look at the lack of progress we have made as a human race. It’s easy to look at the scope of this, from lack of justice to lack of humanity, and just get angry at the oppressors, we have to remember that fighting fire with fire is just more fire. It solves nothing.
A Course in Miracles instructs us that in the face of darkness, when we can’t see the path, we simply turn on the light. In the light, we can see all. And the light, of course, is Love.
Loving those who are not loving back is the hardest work we will do, but it’s THE work.
2. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”
Speaking of difficulty, holding on to someone else’s actions against us is “easy” to do, but it doesn’t make for an easy life. Holding a grudge poisons us against finding real solutions and enjoying the process. So, the “hard” work of releasing ourselves from someone else’s actions is the work of forgiveness, and again, the hardest work we will do, but the most valuable.
3. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
When in doubt, serve. It makes you feel better, and it makes the world a better place.
Giving is not “better” than receiving. They are actually the same thing. Giving IS receiving. If we are not giving, we are not truly receiving, and again, remain stuck in a dark place.
Doing something for others doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It can simply be a phone call or a knock on the door. Especially if it’s someone on your mind or someone who you need to forgive.
4. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Love and forgiveness and service are all our most valuable works on this earth while we are here, but let us not forget that we can’t simply go along for the ride without doing what is right and speaking up for what is right.
Remember that staying silent is siding with the oppressor.
So when you have the chance to speak Truth, speak it. When you have the opportunity to help someone open his eyes to what is real and just in this world, speak it. And don’t give up, even if it seems like the “other” is more powerful.
True power lies in integrity.
5. “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
This is why social emotional learning isn’t just hippy-dippy-kinda-nice. Being a good person far outweighs being a smart person. Because you have the availability of learning, but your true core being honest and good… that is where true power lies.
And it’s how education changes the world.
We see plenty of “smart” people destroying the planet and fighting on the side of “power over.”
It’s time to see that “power over” has never served us… not for the thousands of years of oppression on this planet. The only true power lies in empowerment, and it takes social emotional learning and a core of integrity to do this.
Thank you to our education system for teaching humanities, the arts, science, and true history, in order for a better world.
And a big apology to the next generations, who are inheriting a world we have been warned would be that of destruction by every prophet in the history of the world, unless we side with Love.
We have yet to listen.