you are sitting at the poker table where you've been taunted/provoked
by an obnoxious opponent who then two outs you for a massive pot or
suffered from a range of minor or major injustices away from the table,
how you react remains your choice. How we react to our various
frustrations and disappointments defines our very being and often
contributes heavily to the environment we live in. As someone who has
never thrown a punch or emphasized anger and retribution I've always
sought a seemingly more passive solution, but one that requires more
creativity and compromise to overcome or reframe the obstacle. My
approach was influenced and reinforced by two men.
five years ago, I took a college seminar called "The Politics and
Philosophy of Nonviolence." The class focused exclusively on the
extensive writings and lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King
Jr. In the face of tremendous societal inequity and political injustice,
each sought a path of peace and nonviolence.
Gandhi was born in Gujarat, India in 1869. He trained in law in London
and fought for people's rights for twenty years in South Africa and for
another thirty monumental years in India before passing away in 1948 at
78. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929. He
studied at Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary, and Boston
University receiving his Doctor of Philosophy before becoming a renowned
civil rights activist. MLK jr. acknowledged the deep influence of
non-violent activism even visiting Gandhi's birthplace in India in 1959.
MLK jr. was assassinated in 1968 but not before heavily advancing the
civil rights cause for millions in the United States.
they lived in different eras and experienced different conditions and
challenges, they produced surprisingly parallel progressive policies for
how to face those obstacles (both inner and external). From their
voluminous thoughts and writings, I've selected a few paired quotes that
demonstrate their similarity of suggestion that you can use your heart
and mind to combat tyranny and injustice no matter how big or small.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi
individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow
confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all
humanity. - Martin Luther King Jr.
error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor
does truth become error because nobody sees it. - Mahatma Gandhi
The only person you have to be right with is yourself. - Martin Luther King Jr.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - Mahatma Gandhi
A man who won't die for something is not fit to live - Martin Luther King, Jr.
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. - Martin Luther King Jr.
Action expresses priorities. - Mahatma Gandhi
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend. - Martin Luther King Jr.
'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely
uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. - Mahatma Gandhi
means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal
violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse
to hate him. - Martin Luther King Jr.
Nobody can hurt me without my permission. - Mahatma Gandhi
A man can't ride your back unless it's bent. - Martin Luther King Jr.
compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take
on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender.
For it is all give and no take. - Mahatma Gandhi
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. - Martin Luther King Jr.
human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake
the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to
remake ourselves. - Mahatma Gandhi
is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles
the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals. - Martin Luther King