This past Monday was Martin Luther King Jr Day, the one day a year that we especially remember the life of the incredible man who did wonders for civil rights. One of our favorite quotes from MLK Jr is, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” MLK Jr was a pacifist, a person who used non-violent methods to work for justice. As expressed in this quote, MLK Jr knew that the only thing that can combat hate is love.
But what he meant by love is not the mushy, gushy type of love that you see between two people who started dating a month ago and have hearts in their eyes. What he meant is that in order to eradicate hate we must respect others, act in a way that dignifies people, and wish the best for every person we come in contact with. When we work for justice, when we work for peace, our work must originate from a place of goodness, not a place of hate. Of course, sometimes in our pursuit of what's "right," we may get angry or lose our temper. But we must not take that out on others. In order to effectively promote peace between all people, we must work together and advocate with, and for, people who tend to not be listened to.
Today we give thanks to MLK Jr for the work he did to bring more peace and justice to the United States. There is still a long way to go before his goals and dreams are fully realized, and we are all called to continue doing the work, peacefully.