I spent a good deal of time reflecting upon this holiday of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. There are so many talents of his to highlight, not the least of which was his use of spectacular oration to lead people. No one ever needed to defend whether or not he made ignorant, offensive comments through his word choice; he would never give anyone the chance to do that as his speeches were well thought out and galvanized people towards love and hope. My first blog post, “Words Matter” delves into how important your words are when people look to you for leadership.
But beyond the obvious, I spent some time learning about Dr. King’s most passionate teachings. You can find them here at this link:
I gravitate towards Dr King because of his passion for non-violent methods of conflict resolution. Interestingly enough, you will always find me defending spending money on strong defense for our country as other countries simply are nowhere near discovering non-violent solutions. But keeping the drive for peace at the forefront of our conversations is urgent and necessary. Remember, there is a difference between defense and offense. Within idealistic discussion, an acknowledgement of realism is always appropriate.
Dr King discussed six practical steps toward non-violent social change:
- Information Gathering
- Personal Commitment
- Direct Action
I could write about all of these for pages on end, but I try to keep these blog posts brief. I will therefore focus on the first. Information gathering is nothing more than doing your research. It’s reading, listening to a wide variety of news outlets and talking to learned and experienced people as much as possible to expand your scope. Listening to differing opinions is crucial in this process. Everyone has their story. But challenging each other to be the most informed is also essential to that process. Everyone can have loud and flippant opinions, but educated words matter.
May today’s holiday remind us how important it is to do local service and take action as far as possible to make this entire world a better place.