Remembering Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Today in the United States is a day of remembering Dr Martin Luther King Jr. As portrayed in the movie, Selma, Dr. King was a man who believed in non-violence. He took on the whole country to try to rid us of our  discrimination against people of color. To a large extent, he was very successful.

However, our government didn’t see him in a positive light. For example, as demonstrated in Selma, former President Lyndon Baines Johnson had the power to grant voting rights to people of color long before they were granted. It was not until former Governor George Wallace of Alabama insisted that the people of color would not get voting rights over his dead body that Johnson signed the bill into law.

All of this demonstrated to me that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was considered to be maladjusted, and I am truly happy for that.

“There are some things in our nation and in our world to which I’m proud to be maladjusted… I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few, and leave millions of people perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of prosperity.  I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, and to the self-defeating effects of physical violence…And I call upon you to be maladjusted to these things until the good society is realized… “
Martin Luther King Jr. “Don’t Sleep Through The Revolution”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In case you did not see the movie Selma here is the preview. The acting and story are superb and you most likely, your heart will be open. Unfortunately, the people who should see this movie the most will almost certainly avoid it. They still have discriminating minds.

One of the principle teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is the teaching of inclusiveness. In fact, the Sixth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing states,

We will practice Right Diligence in order to nourish our capacity of understanding, love, joy and inclusiveness, gradually transforming our anger, violence, fear and helping others do the same.

Adopting an attitude like this can go a long way towards reducing discrimination and promoting the well-being of relationships between all people.

You probably will remember this famous quote from Dr. King that appeared in my inbox just this morning:

MLK’s Beloved Community | January 19, 2015

We are caught up in an inescapable network of mutuality. . . . Strangely enough I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way the world is made.

– Martin Luther King Jr., “A Sangha by Another Name”

You may know that Dr Martin Luther King Jr. nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. The two of them became great friends, both working for peace in their own ways.

How will you be remembering Dr Martin Luther King Jr today? Will you think about the freedom marchers or simply enjoy a day off of work? What would you say to Dr. King if he were alive to answer?

Books by Martin Luther King

Strength to Love

Martin Luther King Jr

“If there is one book Martin Luther King, Jr. has written that people consistently tell me has changed their lives, it is Strength to Love.”

So wrote Coretta Scott King. She continued: “I believe it is because this book best explains the central element of Martin Luther King, Jr.’ s philosop… [Read More…]

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