What Paul Scholars Can Learn from Martin Luther King Jr.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
This quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., is one of our favorites, because it speaks to not only who this man was, but to the breadth of his influence on who we are today. When we think of the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr., the first thing that often comes to mind is the American Civil Rights Movement. Of course, the value of his work in equal rights for all people is immeasurable. However, if we take a little time to reflect on who MLK was, there is a lot more to be learned from this great man.
- Making a big difference doesn’t require a perfect person. At times, when the subject of Dr. King comes up, someone will point out his imperfections as a counterpoint to the good things he accomplished. King’s focus on justice for the poor and the oppressed went far beyond his mistakes. So if you want to make a big, positive difference in the world, don’t wait until you are “perfect”. You’ll be waiting a long time.
- Non-violent doesn’t mean passive. Dr. King is known for his methods of non-violent resistance, which he derived from the work and protests of Ghandi in India. However, nobody should look at Dr. King’s work, and think that he was passively waiting around for opportunities to resist. Instead, he was hard-working and strategic. You can emulate the work of Dr. King by looking for opportunities to make a big difference, even if it means looking for the best place to sit in protest.
- All of mankind is connected. Dr. King knew that we are all connected in many ways. Injustice hurts everyone, no matter who is suffering. One of the most important things we can learn from Dr. King is the importance of doing the right thing for anyone who needs it, because if we do that, then our entire society benefits.When we do good, it is good for the person we are helping, but it is also good for the people around us, and anyone who bears witness to our good work.
- We must persist in doing the right thing. Nobody said that doing the right thing is easy. In fact, it can be extremely difficult, and at times it can be downright discouraging. Dr. King was arrested dozens of times. He was beaten, stabbed, and threatened, and yet he persisted in his mission.He didn’t give up, and he never stopped working to find justice for all.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great man, who accomplished great things for our society. He wasn’t perfect, but he knew what he wanted to do and how important it was. Because of this, he persisted in doing the right thing and made big differences in our world. There are so many things we can learn from his work and his life. These lessons are just a few of them.