It was a beautiful January 15th day in the year 1929 when Martin Luther King Jr. was born. No one could have assume, guessed, or predicted that this small baby would influence millions and completely change the way we look at the word “resistance”.
Mr. King grew up in a modest Atlanta home where he was taught the best in ethical practices, religion, and humanitarianism. At the ripe age of 19, King attended theological seminary, in 1949. Through his studies Mr. King discovered that “..darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that…” and that this only works in individual conflicts not social and/or racial conflicts. This is something that he struggled with, due to the impending racial conflicts that loomed over the African American community at that time. This might had discouraged him to some degree, but he would remain open minded and prevalent. Almost by fate, Mr. King stumbled on to some writings by Mahatma Gandhi in his theological studies. He was mesmerized by the simpleness in approach by Gandhi towards nonviolent resistance and a goal for peaceful worldwide change. Furthermore, he saw something he needed – real change made nonviolently in a social manner. At this juncture King retracted his statement from before regarding nonviolent change applicable to social situations. After reading about Gandhi’s triumphs for good, solid, and nonviolent societal change – he knew that through the power of love, change for the good IS possible. As his knowledge of this “love-force” deepened and his stronge conviction with the potency of this power increased, his peace campaigns and events took the country by storm!
As things became as a natural way for him, Mr. King strived to live by six points to how one should approach a peaceful resistant situation for which he promoted to all of his supporters.
The Six Points of Nonviolent Resistance are:
- Nonviolent Resistance may seem cowardly, but its not.
- Don’t humiliate the opponent.
- Remember, you are against evil not the individual.
- You must be willing to suffer.
- The Universe is on the side of justice.
- The fight is not physical – the fight is between spirit.
Mr. King spoke of a dream. A a dream that African American children and White children could play together. Is there more to this statement? I present to you that Martin Luther King’s legacy has the potential in this modern day, nearly 50 years after King’s death. His methods proved successful and his example is monumental. Through Mr. King’s solid alibi as an advocate for peace, we can look at the canvas from which this nonviolent man painted and paint our future in our everyday happenings.
By: Thomas McGregor