“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only Love can do that”
-Martin Luther King jr
Wow. That is a powerful statement from a great man. Might I suggest you pause for a moment and read it again. Ok, now that we have grasped the obvious power and truth to that statement, let us begin today by looking at the second part of that quote. we can begin to see how we cannot only go about changing our lives for the better, but the lives of our families, friends and our fellow-man. Conflict if ended in the form of debate, or violence never truly has a winner. Now before you think I am getting far to altruistic, stick with me for a second here. During the great divide that started both world wars ideals were challenged. People had conflicting beliefs and were unable to solve them in a peaceful fashion. The same holds true for the American civil war. In both cases there was a decisive military victor. So what then of the loser? Did they then agree to the opinions and ideals held by those who were victorious over them? I think we all can agree that was not the case. This holds true when I listen to people debate politics and to some of the more zealous, even sports. What do we really hope to gain by out debating another person? A momentary feeling of self-righteousness? A more resolute feeling about our own beliefs? More importantly, what do we stand to lose? A friendship? A good working relationship? Maybe even a peaceful household. Yes, we all have beliefs we hold dear, and well we should. We should also never fail to realize and respect the fact that other people may have feelings they hold in equal regard, but that differ from our own. Some people may approach us in anger for things they have no right to. Our political beliefs, our faith, or even the color of our skin. Now we can argue with these people. Prove their ignorance, but will it change their hearts? Not likely. Therefore, I suggest proving these people wrong with kindness, understanding, patience and love. I am not talking about cowardice, I am talking about the one of the bravest acts you can do. Respect their opinion without sacrificing yours. How to do this takes tact, skill and a lot of practice. I do not pretend to have all the answers in this arena, but I do not that Martin Luther King jr was right. hate will never drive out hate, only love can do that.