Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Preach On (Love is the Answer)

I came across this speech by Martin Luther King Jr. when I was researching a previously discussed topic. Many of the words make me shudder.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing- oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered...

A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept -- so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force -- has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John:

Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.

We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate.

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter -- but beautiful -- struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.

If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

He's right, you know. The longer you and I wait to change, the worse things get. People are more important than things. And love is still the answer that will change the world.


Blogger Johnny said...

The best response I can think of is AMEN!!! Followed by action on my part to live my amen.

Tue Jan 17, 10:07:00 AM PST  
Blogger Johnathan M. Thomas said...

Picasso once said, "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die havig left undone."

Jesus was right when He spoke of the greatest commandments. Love God... Love your neighbor.

Above these two there is nothing else. Without these two there is nothing.

BTW, it's good to have you back.

Tue Jan 17, 10:34:00 AM PST  
Blogger CJ said...

I'm totally on board with the amen. Terrific words of wisdom.

Tue Jan 17, 09:53:00 PM PST  
Blogger Dawnette said...

Thanks Jason for bringing us such a good speach, and for adding to my current school lessons with the girls.

I would love for all to read this and think about where they place their love.

Wed Jan 18, 10:14:00 AM PST  
Blogger Chris Smith said...

Awesome stuff, Jason. Oh and greetings. Your blog inspired me to give blogging a second try. It was great to hear from you and I hope you got my reply. I second jmt in saying it is great to have you back, I've been checking in several times a week and finally some new material!

Thu Jan 19, 03:00:00 PM PST  

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