Building the Beloved Community
On December 11, 1964 Dr. Martin Luther King said "Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."
As I listen to the judgements, racism and anger in the farce that tries to pass for an electoral process, Dr. King's words echo in my ears. I hope we will take time over the coming week to read his speeches and writings - they are powerfully relevant for today. I hope that they inspire us to stand up when needed to oppression and injustice. (He also wrote, "In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.") Our system of government and our economy are failing us. There is much work to do.
And we must begin. But we can take a lesson from the civil rights movement, which took on one town clerk, one polling station, one lunch counter at a time. By each one doing their part, taking a stand, the movement became unstoppable in spite of the violence and anger that met it.
We begin a bit at a time, figuring out how to meet the needs of people worse off than we are in our communities, figure out how to stand together with respect for one another in the face of injustice, each day making sure to do our part, however small. Silence is no longer an option.
There are lots and lots of local activities planned. You can find a partial listing on the SENE events page. There are breakfasts and art events and marches. Join one. Or go to an online library of King quotes, speeches and videos, and read some of his speeches. They speak to our time.
You can also check out the SENE calendar here. There are lots of ways for us to get involved. Bring a friend. Your presence and your voice matters - and the rewards of a vibrant community are abundant!