Civil Rights March on Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thinking about Power and Love on Martin Luther King’s Birthday

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Power and Love

Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate:
only love can do that.

Martin Luther King Jr
What is the relationship between power and love?

January 15, 2018 commemorates Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday almost fifty years after his assassination on April 4, 1968.

Half a century has gone by since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lost his life to an assassin's bullet in Memphis,Tennessee.
Shot down and silenced on April 4, 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to speaking out against injustice, inequality, poverty and war. Museums and other cultural institutions are planning special programming to mark both the King Day of Service on Monday and the day of his assassination, notably at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, which built itself in and around the Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated.

Read more at USA Today

On this day of remembrance of his birthday, here are some comments about profound claims he made about love and power.

Choosing between Love and Hate

Comment by Harish  on this statement by Dr. King:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

"Dr. King's quote is of my favorites quotes on the astonishing power and efficacy of love. Every moment you will have a choice to make. You will get to choose between love and hate. What will you choose?"

Are Love and Power Polar Opposites?

Comment by RecoveryNet about Dr. King's claims about love and power:

Power without love is reckless and abusive,
and love without power is sentimental and anemic.
Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.

"And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites—polar opposites—so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love. Power and love are not separate and in opposition but two parts of the same whole."

"How do use your power?"

Vision of Love

Statement by Odyssey about Dr. King:

"The vision of love is something anyone can have, but Martin Luther King Jr. used his vision to help give freedom to all and change the world forever."

The Princeton Journey Award

 Excerpts from "Where Do We Go From Here?" by Martin Luther King Jr., 1967

What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.
When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.

Dr. King on YouTube

Listen to Dr. King's statement about love and power on tensacross 

What are your thoughts about love and power? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

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