|Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.|
Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
~ Martin Luther King
If you want to be inspired, read this impromptu address delivered in Indianapolis, IN by Bobby Kennedy announcing the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. It was delivered on the back of a flatbed truck only 65 days before his own assassination. This speech was ranked as #17 of the greatest speeches in 20th Century American History.
Kennedy declared, “What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”
Let us preserve the spirit of these words and apply them to any condition that afflicts our lives today be that Woman vs. Man; Republican vs. Democrat; Race vs. Race. Your attention to retribution to the other for their actions (or simply for who they are) only divides us and will not bring us to healing – neither personally nor as a society. When we defend our anger toward those that have harmed us, we cannot move forward to our job of healing ourselves. If you can do nothing else, rise above and have compassion for their lack of awareness.
Kennedy delivered this message in the heart of Indianapolis’ African-American ghetto despite concerns for his safety. Although riots broke out across the country that night – because of Kennedy’s plea for unity and prayer, the crowd in Indianapolis dispersed quietly.
We can all make the choice daily to be a courageous peacemaker instead of a negative complainer. …To be an advocate for unity instead of division …To focus on healing instead of hatred. You will never change someone’s mind by beating them over the head with your opinion.
What Kennedy accomplished by asking for unity took great courage. At the same time, he expressed care and understanding. What a magic elixir he mixed. Throughout our day, let this be something we emulate.