"Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an inspiration to the original idea of the United States which aspired for liberty and justice for all, not just some. He helped our country in repairing the damage of slavery and Jim Crowe laws. He was fearless and relentless in his pursuit for equal rights and justice for all US citizens. Most importantly to me, he taught people to live from their hearts more, instead of their heads. He wanted people to renounce their bigoted beliefs in favor of loving one another. That is why he spoke so much about being judged by the content of our character. We did not get to pick our skin color.
The missing first half of today's quote states, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that." It's such a powerful idea. It supposes that retaliation, revenge, spite, jealousy, anger and of course hate, will get us nowhere in life. It only invites more of the same. Of course it makes complete sense. If I am causing physical or mental harm toward others, why would I expect them to accept it? Conversely, shouldn't I defend myself if others want to physically or verbally attack me?
This is where the lessons of Jesus can help us to understand how to love more and dissolve any hate that has built up in our hearts. Unfortunately, Jesus' message lost it's way to the hearts of Christians who choose to rely on their poisoned minds instead. False rhetoric and fear mongering has led people to believe they must respond to conflicting narratives with anger and violence. The wounds and scars on their hearts prevent them from choosing Love over hate. They believe they are doing the right thing by using ugly tactics. They are certainly not responding in the name of Love. I am certain Jesus would not approve.
I used to be a person full of anger and hate. It led me to a dark place where I was eventually able to catch a glimpse of the Light while searching for my lost soul. I dug deep down inside myself. I wanted more, so I kept piercing the veil of darkness until I experienced the Light in the form of Love. I lost the need to hate or seek vengeance. I just wanted to love more. People still test my patience and get angry with me. I still slip up, but I prefer to respond with kindness which helps provide for a better outcome in the situation and keeps me in a better mood. Hate can't do that. Only Love can do that.