Monday, January 21, 2008

Inspiration Personified

This portion of one of Dr. King's speeches was delivered exactly one year before he was assassinated for his beliefs and dreams, April 4, 1967. Today of course, is the day America celebrates his life and contributions.

"This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood and this oft misinterpreted concept — so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force — has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man.
When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.
This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John:
"Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

"Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says : "Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word."

We, America, can never forget how you brought us to a consciousness so overdue.

1 comment:

Choosy Mothers Choose Jeff said...

Excellent. King was loved and should be thought of as a great man. Not only for his earlier work of racial tolerance but as well for his later efforts, which were unpopular at the time, of tolerance and equality for the immigrants, workers of all areas and his thoughts against the war effort.
Here's to you Dr. King!!