We Shall Overcome

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Not for the first time I find myself thinking about the strength of character displayed by Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr and others who rejected all forms of violence and embraced nonviolence. And did so in the face of those who, unlike the Trump-McConnell White Power Movement, openly admitted that, Hell yeah, blacks have no business mixing with whites. Jews and Puerto Ricans and any black or brown folk, Native Americans, have no place mixing with the White Race. 

The White race. Please. There is only one race. Humanity. The human race. And in the human race, there are all kinds of hair color and skin color and eye color, and there are freckles and those with no freckles. Bestowing decision-making power on skin pigmentation (color), is like sitting in front of a large rock, waiting for it to give you guidance on how best to manage your life. Rocks aren’t in the guidance business anymore than color is in the decision-making business.

Think of the human race as a library. No two books are alike, but they’re all books!

Dr. King said: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”

We cannot remain silent when others are having their rights (including their voting rights) threatened or denied. We must all speak up in our own way, and do so nonviolently.

We shall overcome.

***

For MIR

The power of kindness

I am not beholden to that influential piece of propaganda that says kindness is weakness. Here’s one example of how wrong that propaganda is. The act of responding to anger and rage by walking away is an act of kindness because the person walking away, disengaging, if you will, is choosing not to inflame the moment any more than it already is. Yet the act of walking away is often considered weak. Rubbish. If it is an act of weakness to be kind, to walk away, then why is it so hard for so many to do exactly that?

If walking away was weakness doing it should be breeze, and it ain’t. As a human rights advocate, I’ve walked away, figuratively and literally, from some nasty, cruel and very often dishonest people, when a part of me fancied the idea of dribbling a few of them around the room and out the door.

 
There is a reasonable question to be asked. How is it, exactly, that walking away is, in fact, an act of kindness? If we equate the world we live in to the body and mind we live in, would it not be fair to say I am treating my body and mind with greater kindness by sparing both surges in stress and anxiety and anger? Are we not being kind to the world we live in when we choose not to add conflict? I certainly think so.

 
Kindness is just about as close to sacred as a human trait be, in large part  because you can’t have kindness without respect. Nearly every wound one human inflicts on another requires the absence of respect.  In fact, the depth of the wound one person inflicts on another, can often be measured by the degree to which the respect for the person is missing.