MLK Quote of the Week: The Way of Nonviolence


 “I left India more convinced than ever before that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom. It was a marvelous thing to see the amazing results of a nonviolent campaign. India won her independence, but without violence on the part of Indians. The aftermath of hatred and bitterness that usually follows a violent campaign was found nowhere in India. The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But the way of nonviolence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community”.

 -- from The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson, chapter 13, "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence"

 “Nonviolence is the way of the strong man. It is not a method of stagnant passivity. True pacifism is a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love.”

 -- from Stride Toward Freedom, chapter VI, "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence" by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reflection on the quotation by a King Center staff member:

India started its quest for freedom initially through violent means. It was met with violence and did not achieve its desired results.  However India achieved its independence through Gandhi's Nonviolent means.

Gandhi followed the way of love and nonviolence.

The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, so that when the battle is over, a new relationship comes into being. Relationships are the building blocks of Beloved Community. There should not be hatred and bitterness. We should seek meaning together. Love is not a feeling; it is a decision.

These are all foundations of the Beloved Community as conceived by Dr. King. Dr. King had a vision of people at the grassroots and community level participating in creating new values, truths, relationships, and infrastructures as the foundation for a new society

For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was a practical, attainable objective. It could be achieved through the practice of nonviolent resistance to injustice. Dr. King understood that submission to oppression was not the answer. He believed in resisting with love instead of hate.

  -- Sharon Sequeira, Director of Technology, The King Center