Where did his courage come from? Recently we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Listening to his speeches, I am fired up by his words. He speaks for what he believes in and acts accordingly: no harm to anyone, peace and love, fair wages for poor people, blacks seated in the back of the bus. He spoke with pain about having to tell his daughter’s about her exclusion from the local amusement part. He didn’t want her to know such things. He took his courage from his belief in the ultimate destiny of man, all of us seeing each other as brother and sister, and aren’t we? How could we not agree?
There are two things standing in the way of love which small disputes line up behind to give its logic weight. The first is the need to steal from those whose labor or goods we want to profit and the second one is fear. It is fear largely propounded and blown into hurricanes by people who benefit from these subdivisions. We do not know this once the wind of fear has taken hold and thrown us about.
When feeling terror tells what to do based on what we hear they will do to us, we have to scratch our heads, step back and calm our inner child. We, the adult have to respond to cries of danger telling us to run and fight and hang the purported enemy with a philosophical “really?” Need to tell our inner child, “Stop worrying. I am on the lookout for danger and am able to properly assess it.”
Then we need to act which means to investigate the situation, not to fall for words of terror and broadcasts of danger. Genuine loyalty to saving our selves from danger requires saving us all. That is because panic leads to violence directed at the one named enemy which causes violent reactions to come back. It causes millions of people to flee to foreign shores seeking shelter. Many of them die en route.
Throw a stone and see what happens. Martin Luther King was a man of love and courage. He felt fear but sought to live by higher principles. He said I may not get to the top of the mountain with you but I have seen the promised land. All wept and cheered with him. Transformed by love.