“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
It will be Martin Luther King Jr Day in a few hours in my time zone. So in the interests of celebrating him, I’m posting up one of my favorite quotes that he ever said.
I think that even decades later, it stands as a sobering reminder for us in our current political and religious climate. It’s not some trite, cute Facebook remark; think about what he’s really saying and try to apply it to your own life.
We see so much hate and anger in the world, and I think our instinctive response is to reply with more hate and anger. In reality, this doesn’t convince anyone of anything, makes everything seem worse, and at best makes us look childish.
But when we appeal to an individual’s human spirit… when we start to see each person as a flawed but worthwhile human being… that’s when profound realizations come. That’s when the beauty comes.
I think this is one of his most important messages, and I think it’s gotten lost in the shuffle. Consider the times King lived in. And yet did he ever respond by belittling the other person, with hatred, with anger, with contempt, with violence, or with sarcasm?
No, he responded with calm love and compassion. He appealed to people’s spirits. That’s why we remember him.
At the very least, that’s why I remember him.