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Martin Luther

Martin Luther King, Jr. Inspiration for Today Here on the Suncoast

| Angela Naff |

I found this quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stating, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” It was one that I hadn’t heard before personally and really stopped me in my tracks for a moment. I don’t think that statement uttered back in the 1950s or 60s depending on which source you read, was ever more relevant than today. Darkness, violence, and negativity seem to be what people are fighting the woes of our world with today, and it will not work.

Martin Luther

Lightness, hope, and inspirational heroes that rise up for real change are what our world needs more than ever. We all live in a time of fear regarding the spread of a pandemic, social issues have gone awry, race concerns, violence and so any other unprecedented concerns in our lives that immobilize each of us. When we watch the news we witness those trying to solve issues with guns, violence, and pushing back in big over-the-top ways. Unfortunately, the words above prove that this is not going to be the solution and just will beget more darkness. One of the things that I personally feel is missing from the world today is those like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who rise up with a true desire not to tear down their fellow man, but to be a beacon of positive change in the world.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not believe that violence was a means to ending the conflict. Rather, his words and living a life of exemplary service were what he believed could heal the race issue he fought diligently against until his dying day. He knew that standing up for his beliefs was not popular, and did make him a target. In the end, he gave the ultimate sacrifice any hero can in an assassination of his person that still resonates years later. As we take a moment to remember this beacon of light in history standing for positive change – maybe reflect on what we could do in some way to showcase those same beliefs at the core of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message.

We don’t all look the same, believe the same, have the same experiences, or even react to the stressors of life in similar ways. That said instead of tearing those that believe differently from us down, take a moment to participate in a discussion with someone about those beliefs. True discord with our fellow man to find compromise, common ground and a way forward out of conflict are critical if we are to see an end in sight for all the negative that impacts us day in and day out.

We all can help add some light to our communities by getting involved to help in little ways. Volunteer to help an organization you truly believe in, or maybe get involved in other causes you can lend your voice to that are dear to your heart. Find light in each day, and focus on positive, intelligent, and productive conversations about change that is a productive manner whether for your small sphere of influence or the larger community, state, or country in larger visible roles. Focus away from negativity, feedback that is intended to tear down only, and try to stay forward-looking toward light and solutions that help us all get back to some stable ground making progress on social issues and away from all the hate and darkness in the world.

For today focus on the light and the good in our world. If we all stay positive, we can conquer the darkness and start toward real change in our world.


Photo courtesy of Deposit Photos

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