How do we honor the legacy of the great Martin Luther King, Jr? Dr. King's service to the nation and the world made him a leader that we can unabashedly call great. His strengths were intelligence, strong character, a willingness to voice his beliefs and dedication to community service. If intelligence plus character is the true goal of education, then we can honor Dr. King's legacy by educating ourselves about the entire life of Dr. King, not just his, "I Have a Dream" speech. We can also choose a cause that we are passionate about and dedicate our time and talents to effectuating meaningful change. Wisdom + Character + Service = a great human being.
Below are some fantastic quotes from Dr. King, as well as links to all the resources that you will need to better understand Dr. King and his philosophy, and to honor his legacy through service.
This video is the first of 5 Meet the Press appearances.
You will also find the King Philosophy, which we can incorporate in our own world view. The main principles are:
Fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence described in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom. The six principles include:
- Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is a positive force confronting the forces of injustice, and utilizes the righteous indignation and the spiritual, emotional and intellectual capabilities of people as the vital force for change and reconciliation.
- The Beloved Community is the framework for the future. The nonviolent concept is an overall effort to achieve a reconciled world by raising the level of relationships among people to a height where justice prevails and persons attain their full human potential.
- Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil. The nonviolent approach helps one analyze the fundamental conditions, policies and practices of the conflict rather than reacting to one’s opponents or their personalities.
- Accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve the goal. Self-chosen suffering is redemptive and helps the movement grow in a spiritual as well as a humanitarian dimension. The moral authority of voluntary suffering for a goal communicates the concern to one’s own friends and community as well as to the opponent.
- Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. The nonviolent attitude permeates all aspects of the campaign. It provides mirror type reflection of the reality of the condition to one’s opponent and the community at large. Specific activities must be designed to help maintain a high level of spirit and morale during a nonviolent campaign.
- The universe is on the side of justice. Truth is universal and human society and each human being is oriented to the just sense of order of the universe. The fundamental values in all of the world’s great religious include the concept that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice. For the nonviolent practitioner, nonviolence introduces a new moral context in which nonviolence is both the means and the end.
Honor Dr. King's legacy by spending a part of the day in service to your local community. Below are a few websites that will lead you to opportunities to serve.