Three actions Dr. King would endorse

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King coming into Montgomery, AL.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King coming into Montgomery, AL.


“It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world,” [Dr. King] said. “It’s nonviolence or nonexistence.”

Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His daughter Bernice, age five at the time of his murder, wrote an article in The Atlantic recently that’s worth your time. She identified three actions that we can take to move our society forward in a meaningful way. I include here a few lines that I hope will inspire you to go and read the article.

On being creatively maladjusted:

“When we decide not to accept what should be unacceptable, we begin to open ourselves up to the mental attitude and spiritual altitude to build the beloved community.”

On showing up as light in dark places:

“If we become darkness in response to darkness, then we perpetuate a descending spiral of hate and hopelessness. Each of us must decide whether it is more important to be proved right or to provoke righteousness.”

On the World House we live in:

“[We live in] a diverse, multicultural, dynamic house in which each nation represents a room. For our house to survive, we cannot look away when one of the rooms is in flames.”

“If we remain in the grasp of nationalism, patriarchy, class conflict, racism, and religious bigotry, we will continue to be dehumanized—and destroyed—by poverty, genocide, slavery, and war. But the realization that we are all connected will make us more engaged in every area of human life, including our community.”


An inscription forming part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Monument in Washington, DC


In addition to the text of the article itself, you might be interested in mlk50forward, where you can find upcoming events as well an invitation to do 50 acts of kindness, get involved in a service project to honor Dr. King, and more.

I’m attracted to the idea of showing up as light–now to work on figuring out what that looks like for me, and making it happen.


[Images: Smithsonian Learn Lab, National Park Service]

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