The Way of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sure, Dr. King was concerned about the great issues of the day, war and peace and civil rights. But some of the things he said about peace also relate to environmental conflicts. Things to think about.

Six Principles of Non-Violence

1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people —
It is active non-violent resistance to evil.
It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
It is always persuading the opponent of the righteousness of your cause.

2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding —
The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.
The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.

3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people —
Nonviolence recognizes that evils doers are also victims and are not evil people.
The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil, not people.

4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform —
Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.
Nonviolence accepts violence if necessary but will never inflict it.
Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its acts.
Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.
Suffering has the power to convert the enemy when reason fails.

5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate –
Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.
Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.
Nonviolent love gives willingly, knowing that the return might be hostility.
Nonviolent love is active, not passive.
Nonviolent love is unending in its ability to forgive in order to restore community.
Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater.
Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves.
Love restores community and resists injustice.
Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated.

6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice–
The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.
Nonviolence believes that God is a God of Justice.

Definition for BELOVED COMMUNITY – Term coined by philosopher Josiah Royce to denote an ideal community, used frequently by Dr. King to describe a society of justice, peace and harmony which can be achieved through nonviolence. In his sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, on April 2, 1957, Dr. King said, “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community.” (from the Glossary of Nonviolence).

In my copy of these principles, it says that they are derived from Dr. King’s
“Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Here’s the link to the King Center in Atlanta. Their digital archive is amazing.

The King Center Imaging Project

The King Center Imaging Project brings the works and papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to a digital generation. JPMorgan Chase & Co. began the project in April of 2011 with the intent to preserve, digitize and make publically available some of the extensive holdings of The King Center Archive collection.

Through the JPMorgan Chase’s Technology for Social Good program, a team of highly skilled individuals has been organized to help digitize more than 1 million documents. The team consists of imaging and archival experts, as well as students from Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, the King family’s alma maters and US Veterans from the US Veterans Curation Program.

The digital archive is a dynamic collection. Visitors are encouraged to check back regularly, as new content is always being added to the site.

Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The Drum Major Instinct”
Delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, February 4, 1968

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