“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” - Martin Luther King Jr.
This quote was from Martin Luther King’s book, written in 1957. If you ask most people what that they know about King, they will mention his famous “I have a dream” speech from 1963. This was the point in his life in which he was most known, he presented his speech on the March of Washington but he wasn’t the only one to talk that day. He was just the most significant. Undoubtedly, he was an inspiring man with a set of moral values which helped him in his successes but he wasn’t born famous. He grew up in similar conditions to many black Americans around the time of his birth but not all of them are still talked about today. What is so unorthodox about King that led for him to become such a role model that people wanted to assassinate him because he was so effective? His attitude.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude”
In a world surrounded by unfairness it is easy to be aggravated. It is not, however, easy to do something constructive with this aggravation. A sign of a leader is adhering to your views, whether others agree or not and this involves moral values that are fixed within yourself- beliefs that cannot be changed. One factor in the success of King was his attitude- he knew that he was in the right and kept a positive attitude to be his inspiration through life. The difference between him and any average person was being inspired by his goal of equality and letting nothing get in his way. It is so easy in life to be distracted and to divert to another path because something seems appealing in the short term but having a long term goal set in stone, was his means for success. His attitude sets him apart from us. Generally, people don’t realise how easy it is to alter an attitude and decide that every experience is a positive thing as we learn from mistakes. The one major thing that we can learn from him is to keep a positive attitude to everything we do and that is how we can succeed.
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people”
All the way through his life, King preached against violence. We can now see why. Violence was the end of him. He was killed in a cowardly way by someone who realised there were no words left to say that could disagree with King’s attitude. It was so relentless, that the only way of silencing it was silencing him. His killer was stupid. It was too late to stop the preach of his frame of mind, it had spread too far. They tried to put out his light but King had passed his flame to so many people, touched so many hearts, that he would never be silenced. He may have been killed, but he would have died one day, as everybody does. His life may have been cut short but it’s better to live for just 40 years doing what he did than 100 years of a life of an individual touching nobody- King lives on through his values which have arguably transformed America. He should live on and you have the ability to let him. How? By not staying silent when wrong is being done, you are sending on his message, not just helping people but replacing the darkness with light.