More than an anniversary

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy CarterAt Wednesday’s 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, former president Bill Clinton said, “A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.” If this is true then we had better heed the lyrics from the song that Andrew Young sang, ” I woke up this morning with my mind set on freedom”.

This country’s future depends on us not just remembering the March but setting a new course for living our lives guided by the principles the March was built on. Can we or should we celebrate Dr King’s prophecy of a Beloved Community and I have a Dream speech one day with song, speeches and minute-to-minute media coverage, from Beulah to Oprah, across the Red Sea, from Amazing Grace to this place….. without committing to nonviolence in word and deed, in our personal  and work lives?  Yes the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is relevant today and so is Dr King’s message of love and peace.

SIX PRINCIPLES OF NONVIOLENCE

Fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence 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.

Visit the King Center site for more information—–http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy#sub2