The arc of human morality bends toward justice, said Dr. King.  If ever there was a time to have faith in this notion, it’s right now. So much destruction and challenge, and hope ahead. 

Stop and think about that for a minute. Chaos and progress on all fronts:  a pandemic and a vaccine, injustice toward our black community and the loss of supreme justice RBG and a first black female Vice President, an inauguration and an impeachment.   And in the midst of these blustery winds of change, a pause today, to remember the great preacher of progress, and peace.

Dr. King spoke of serving others, always with “a heart full of grace and a soul full of love.”  He inspired this in others, and called up to build the “Beloved Community,” a  harmonious society that upheld his six principles of nonviolence. I know people doing this right now; please let me share:

While we are sleeping in and enjoying the day off of school or work, a dedicated ground swell of believers, are gathering in the most violence-stricken neighborhoods in Chicago doing two things:  First, celebrating the life of Dr. King.  And then, training others on the methods of nonviolence, preparing for an uncertain week ahead.

These are the tireless workers of The Institute for Nonviolence, an organization founded on the principles and practices of Dr. King. These courageous individuals have experience with injustice and incarceration, living with gun violence, and losing loved ones to gun violence. And yet they celebrate… as they do important work, teaching the principles and practices of Dr. King. As Barack Obama said, “The arc of moral universe may bend toward justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own.”

Below are Dr. King’s six principles of non-violence. Meditate on their meaning , and then answer Dr. King’s call to live into them in the days ahead. Like the outreach workers in the most dangerous reaches of our country, believe in the spirit behind his words, having faith that justice will persevere. Dream this truth alive, with action.

  1. Nonviolence is for courageous people. It’s a way of life.
  2. Build the Beloved Community everywhere you go.
  3. Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil.
  4. Accept suffering without retaliation, for the sake of the just cause.
  5. Avoid inner violence of the spirit as well as outward physical violence. 
  6. The universe is on the side of justice.

If you’d like to learn more about the Institute for Nonviolence, and ways you can be of support, please follow this link. We need it right now.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.