Dr. Martin Luther King Day Message 2004
Today is Martin
Luther King day. Dr. King is an inspiration to
around the world because of his strong adherence to the principles of human
equality, justice and the achievement of social change through non violent
Dr. King understood the basic principles of non-violence adopted by Mahatma
Gandhi to free
millions of people in India to put their bodies in harm's way, to take the
worst beatings that one human being can give to another, and thereby to gain
the moral authority that forced the British to retreat. The power of this
principle is obvious and effective, much more effective than the use of
brute force to try to destroy or suppress people.
Dr. King taught these same principles and put himself in harm's way on many
occasions to work to achieve basic human dignity and rights for people who
had been enslaved, oppressed and denied fundamental freedom in our "land of
the free". In the ultimate act of martyrdom, he was gunned down by
reactionary forces trying to stop the changes that were inevitable and which
continue working today to bring about a society of true harmony.
The message of Dr. King is particularly relevant today as our country tries
to enforce its world-view and military power over the rest of the world.
The attempt to create an American Empire, dominated, controlled and for the
benefit of the American Society, utilizing enormous amounts of the world's
resources for a small percentage of the world's people, destroying and
polluting the planet at the same time, is an example of the long history in
humanity of one culture in its strength and ascendancy trying to dominate
and control everyone else. This striving for Empire and domination has been
repeated throughout history.
As we saw with the work of Mahatma Gandhi, and with the work of Dr. Martin
Luther King, eventually the use of brute force backfires and harms the very
people who think they are benefiting in its employment. And eventually,
those who "live by the sword, shall die by the sword."
As we move into a new world of global communication and ever more instant
information, we must be prepared to change and adapt and understand the
other peoples and cultures of the world, and learn how to coexist in peace.
We must be prepared to adapt and change our use of resources to ensure that
we remain in harmony and balance with the planet and its other residents as
well. Our failure to build a world of understanding and harmony will lead
to our own destruction, just as the British attempt to squeeze
beat it down was doomed to failure and the fall of the
Dr. Martin Luther King provides us a beacon of light in our quest for
achieving non-violent solutions to this long-standing problem in our country
and around the world. Let us honor his work today as we reflect on the
relevance of his message for the challenges we have to face in the days to
January 19, 2004