Thursday, January 31, 2013


Today is January 31st, we are 31 days into the New Year.  If you made resolutions, set goals, made commitments to yourself or to others this New Year, how are you tracking?

Are you exercising, eating right, saving, paying down debt, spending less than you earn, being more generous, loving, forgiving, showing  compassion?

Are you spending more quality time with family and friends, being present? 

Are you volunteering, mentoring, or giving back your time, efforts and talent for a greater cause?

Have you started the plans for the business you always wanted?

Are you spending more time in prayer, worship, praise to your Creator or whomever it is you choose to serve?

Or are you doing the same thing today you were doing yesterday, last month, last year or even 5 years ago?  

Or are you seeing change, growth, and progress in your life?

Change begins on the inside, change begins with our thoughts, our thoughts dictate our actions and the outcomes of our lives.  So if you are struggling in any area of your life, begin with your thoughts.  Take the inside-out approach.

For those looking to get on and stay on the right financial track, I learned of a great site do check it out and determine if it is right for you. 

For those looking to enhance the quality of their life and truly change from the inside-out and watch their thoughts, I recommend reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, The Dream Giver by Wilkinson, and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

At the end of this year, on December 31st, I believe and decree that those reading this will be healthier, wiser, wealthier, more fit, of sound mind, thinking only thoughts of life, filled with faith, hope, love, peace, joy, and abundance. I believe that those reading this will be closer to their purpose, pursuing their dreams.

Be a blessing and be blessed! Namaste! Peace! Love! Joy! Abundance

Wednesday, January 30, 2013



No matter what you believe in be it God, Atheism, Allah, Buddah, etc.  there is a universal law, there is power in the spoken word, words and thoughts are energy giving off frequencies causing things to manifest in our lives and the lives of others.

So one thing that we must do as people especially those whom are spiritual are send out good vibrations, vibrations of love, peace, joy, and unity into Chicago.  We should not participate in talk of this being Chiraq, the murder capital.  We should not idly sit back and speak on what's going on in a negative sense without taking action.  We shouldn't speak negatively at all.

I know the saying tell it like it is BUT there is a better saying speak those things that be not as if they were.

"The law of attraction says like attracts like, so when you think a thought, you are also attracting like thoughts to you."

"Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency.  As you think thoughts, they are sent out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all things that are on the same frequency.  Everything sent out returns to the source - you."

"Your thoughts become things." The Secret

So, WE can do something simply raising our frequency, simply sending out thoughts of love, peace, joy, and unity in Chicago.  That in itself will cause a difference, a shift as long as that focused is maintained and sustained over time.  We have the POWER to make a difference, we need to tap into it.

Let's speak/think Life, Love, Joy, Peace, and Unity into Chicago, not death.

Be a blessing and be blessed! Namaste! Peace! Love! Joy!


Our power is in our dollars, last night I went to sleep with the news  that an innocent 15 year old girl was murdered.  Murdered at 2:30P walking home from school.  I don't ask why, I ask what can be done.  I have an idea, it is definitely not an end all be all solution BUT it is a start to have our voices heard.

An economic boycott,  BOYCOTT everything on Friday, February 1st that is not black owned.  Start Black History off with a bang.  If other cities joined in that would be even greater.  Of course I know its short notice but with social media the way it is today, word spreads faster than a wild fire.

There is a war on the poor, lower, working class and we are active participants in it as we stand back and do nothing but talk about how bad things are and say that something must be done.  IF NOT US THAN WHO?

It is time to take back our streets and our communities, it is time to let our voices be heard and one way to make an immediate impact is economically with our dollars.

I mean boycott everything, the corner store, liquor store, gas station, Walmart, Target, McDonald's, Burger King, Beefee's, etc.  EVERY AND ANYTHING IF IT IS NOT BLACK OWNED for 1 day.

To couple with the boycott, there is no school on Friday, how many teachers, students, parents, community leaders are willing to put down their plans for one day, join together and March on City Hall?  I mean everyone including the "degenerates" of society.  What if there was a day that no one bought anything, no one shot at anyone, no one was pulled over, ticketed or went to jail because they were all down at city hall and the surrounding area standing together in solidarity? (that idea was my cousins I will not take credit for that, but there name shall rename nameless)

The great thing is, there doesn't have to be a what if.  I am here saying Let's Do It! Spread the Word, Get Involved, Do Something!!!!!!


The time is out for me and mine and as long as it doesn't effect my household its alright mentality.  People are being shot at on the expressway, anything can happen anywhere at anytime.  We need Umoja (Unity) if you are poor, the lower class, working class, even the middle or upper class you are being effected in some way.  Enough of Me, Mine, its time for Us, We.

Be a blessing and be blessed! Namaste! Peace! Love! Joy! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Epiphany Essentials would like to say Thank You and reward 2 wonderful people with gift certificates for a mani/pedi at Aroma Spa in Chicago.

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Winner will be chosen on February 5th, 2013.  Certificates will be delivered via email. They cannot be duplicated!

Be a blessing and be blessed! Namaste! Peace! Love! Joy! Abundance! Health! Faith! Prosperity!

Monday, January 28, 2013


These quotes, words of inspiration, and thoughts blessed my soul last week and I wanted to share.

"Here's a thought for the week........

Giving off positive energy and a positive attitude today can, and will, attract better people into your immediate circle in the future, but do not expect those who are already in the circle to change! If people changed just by being in the presence of a more positive person, then they’d only need to go to church once! If they refuse to change and continue their negative and toxic behavior, throw them out of your circle" David RoppoLife Coach- Author- Speaker

I AM greatness, therefore there is not a thing I cannot imagine nor anything I cannot do.

"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second." -William James

Surrender to the moment & release the chains of the past, there is no need to look too far forward, for life is here & now.

The question you must answer when faced w/challenges are:Am I thinking the thoughts of God? The 1st place of attack & victory is your mind!

She of pure thought & calm actions, walks a path laid with flowers, trees bow in her presence, for she has become divine.

Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ~Buddha

You must train yourself to react slower, the ego wants to speak first, it speaks through anger, you must learn to wait!

Be a blessing and be blessed! Namaste! Peace! Love! Joy! Abundance!

Friday, January 25, 2013


In all that you do, BE PRESENT!

What does it mean to be present?  Be alert, give your full attention, savor the moment, and enjoy what you are doing while you are doing it...

I have found myself attached at the hip to my cell phone as if, if I'm not looking at it every other second I'm going to miss out on something.  Whether at a family gathering, at my dad's house, out with my son, with friends, basically everywhere but church.  So as I write these words BE PRESENT its more so for me and if you benefit as well that's great.

So, yesterday while bowling with my son, I decided to BE PRESENT, I didn't look at my phone, check my Twitter, FB, nothing the entire time we will at the bowling alley, I made a conscious decision in 2013 to BE PRESENT.

Think about ways that you can BE PRESENT.

Even when doing my yoga, I sometimes find myself thinking about what I have to do for the day, what happened the day before and I have to remind myself to relax and BE PRESENT.

During a conversation with someone, they are speaking to you but you are reading, typing, thinking about something else, just not giving your full attention, BE PRESENT.

Especially with children, when they are speaking give them your undivided attention, put the book down, the cell phone, turn off the TV, turn off the radio etc.  BE PRESENT.

Try it out for the rest of the week, determine if you are present in the moment when at work, home, wherever you are, if you found yourself drifting and not paying attention, make a conscious to BE PRESENT.

Be a blessing and be blessed! Namaste! Peace! Love! Joy! Faith! Self-Control! Health! Prosperity!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


When I first heard the controversy behind this movie and the commentary from those who saw it, I had mixed emotions and feelings.  My decision on wanting to see the movie began to waiver BUT I took the time to watch the movie the other day and I absolutely enjoyed this movie.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect everyone in that regard.  After seeing the movie however, I don't understand what Spike Lee is so upset about.  The use of  the word nigger?  Nigger and boy were used interchangeably to address Django and other black male slaves in the movie but that was a term from what I understand that was used back then and is still used now.

Amazingly, that's all I heard about when hearing Spike Lee's issue with the movie.  Forget the fact the gentleman Django was traveling with Dr. King treated Django like a normal human being should be treated and demanded that all respect Django as well.  Dr. King was smart enough to do and say what was necessary and coach Django in certain situations to keep them both alive.

What truly stood out to me was Django was able to find his wife, buy her freedom, and the two of them rode off into the sunset after he killed almost every white man in the movie!  

Some things about the movie made me question and understand the state of black America a tad bit better today.  I realize a lot of our issues began in slavery and are still ever present today.  Stephen's character bothered me but I understood, he was the typical house nigger.  Happy to be in the house, almost forgetting he is a nigger himself, and made at the freedom of Django and his ability to sleep in the big house in the bed amongst other things.  We were bred to hate each other! 

Listening to Warren Ballentine he was saying how the older slaves disliked new slaves from Africa because they couldn't speak English, the nerve.  Imagine if we all worked together and simply loved one another.  

There was a scene where two slaves were fighting to see who the Mandingo was, they were fighting almost to the death to prove who was the strongest man on the plantation.  That made me question, what if all the potential Mandingo's would have rose up and fought their Masters?  Or what if they would have refused to fight one another and simply suffered their consequences instead of trying to please Massa?

Just a thought, thoughts on the fact that everyone is worried about saving their own hide or afraid to die they will do almost anything.  I don't understand why so many folks are afraid to die but so many claim to want to go to Heaven.  Now don't get me wrong I plan to live to see my son get married and meet my great grandchildren, Most High, willing BUT I believe there are causes we should stand up for and be willing to leave the earth for but I digress.

If you haven't seen Django Unchained I say see it for yourself and check it out.  Don't believe the hype, judge for yourself.  It will give you some insight on then and now.

Be a blessing and be blessed! Namaste! Peace! Love! Blessings! Joy! Health! Prosperity!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Are You Addicted? What's Your Drug of Choice?

"He who is without sin cast the first stone."  This is what Jesus said to the men and the people that were demanding the adulteress to be stoned to death.... He who is without sin, see what Jesus knew was while the people may not have been adulterers, they were ALL sinners.  Not only did Jesus know this but each individual person knew as well they'd done wrong in some way BUT they also knew that adultery led to stoning, well Jesus knew the wages of sin is death!

As I was listening to 1390 last week, Al Roker called in and spoke about his weight loss.  Al said he promised his father on his father's death bed that he was going to lose weight and lead a healthy life.  Al also admitted that food was his DRUG.  That sparked the thought for this blog, we all are or have been addicted to something many of us unknowingly.

Are You Addicted?  What's Your Drug of Choice? Is it....

  • Food
  • TV
  • Sleep
  • Work
  • Women
  • Men
  • Sex
  • Porn
  • Alcohol
  • Church
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Twitter
  • FaceBook
  • Social Media
  • Gossip Blogs
  • Cigarettes
  • MDMA...... 
I'm sure I could go on with this list.  The point is ALL have or had an addiction.  Do you know what yours is?  Are you willing to admit that you had or have one?  What can you do to change it?

The thing is I hear people talk about those that smoke marijuana, alcoholics, cocaine and heroin addicts, even those who are sexually promiscuos, but few people realize that eating food for comfort is a drug as well.  It causes damage just like anything else as it affects your health and well being.  Actually I think the only drug listed that doesn't cause true damage is marijuana.  Anyway back to food, just as the alcoholic picks up the bottle, the over eater picks up brownies, cookies, cake, chips when they are sad or feeling whatever emotion, that is a DRUG.  Actually, many years ago sugar was considered a durg just like cocaine and others. 

Some escape to TV, they watch hours and hours of TV on end but dream about wealth and riches, or simply a better life.  Well I tell you what, watching TV is not going to get you the life you desire.  Now if you are watching church sermons and the like to build up your spirit that is different, BUT if you're watching the news, reality TV, and regular TV shows ALL the time, that too is an addiction.  Too much of anything is not good no matter what it is.

So before turning your nose up and looking down upon someone else saying I would never do this or that.  I don't see how they can't put down the bottle, I don't understand why they just won't seek help and get off those hard core drugs.  I tell you what, they can turn their nose up as well and I say, I don't understand why they just want stop eating, exercise and lose weight.  I don't see why they just want turn off the TV, pick up a book, get out and enjoy life, do something that is going to add value and produce something in their lives.  

We could all go around pointing fingers or we can start with the man in the mirror, come to grips with our own demons and issues and work to better and Master ourselves.  So I want you to think long and hard, what is your addiction?  Yes, church can be an addiction.  Too much of anything is too much.  Of course you cannot get enough of your creator BUT if you are over extending yourself in the church, spending more time there than home especially when you have a family, that too is an escape mechanism and is a drug.  

Test yourself only you know what you are escaping and what you are facing head on, only you know what your addiction is.  Maybe you are one that recognized your addiction and worked to change it and found balance in your life. 

When Nas' album Life Is Good dropped, it took me many times to listen to this song and understand what he was talking about, here is the video and some of the lyrics below:

"World's An Addiction"
(feat. Anthony Hamilton)
[Intro: Anthony Hamilton]
Lies and the pain
Betrayal, life

[Verse 1: Anthony Hamilton]
In danger's face
Look what you're facing, gave your heart away
And all the remedies couldn't ease the pain
All the hurt and betrayal; need to get away
In a world so cold
You gain your life just to lose your soul
Never thinking twice 'bout what the future holds
All the lies and the games not worth fighting for

[Hook: Anthony Hamilton]
The world is an addiction, serving up a fix
The world is an addiction, way too much for me

[Verse 2: Nas]
Snitches and rapists in the street, crime to the fullest
Asking niggas if they got any extra nine bullets
They deny me that, they know the bullets they loan me
Be the same ones that probably had them lying flat stretched out
Letter T
It's better to dead a beef than let it breathe, then we don't succeed
Cause then you gotta murder dummies
Waste your time, they allergic to money
I'm never squeamish to blood, we can thug, and get out of hand,
What's the options?
Only conclusion is shooting, bullets poppin',
Hoodlums dropping, fear any day that the feds will come knocking
Was young and nervous, asking myself what's my purpose,
In the back of a patty wagon, bracelets, aching me
Pigs ignoring, I'm asking what precinct they taking me
These cops can't relate to me, death to prison, empty vacancy

[Hook: Anthony Hamilton]
The world is an addiction, serving up a fix
The world is an addiction, way too much for me

[Verse 3: Nas]
Thou shall not be selfish, real nigga commandments,
Know a billionaire he has everything but a fam,
Guess how angry this man gets, had so many bad chicks in his bed,
Strange sex, same sex, has addictions that are sadistic
Chain of events, habits, he puts cocaine on his prick and acts sick
Self-esteem needs boosting alcohol consumption
Nicotine fusion, some athletes juicing
Pastors quote biblical chapters, Psalms
All along he's into bestiality porn,
And it's wrong, so I keep the Cali weed in the bong
And I'm strong, but the female anatomy got me sprung
And these women need shoes and bags, cars and condos
Fine clothes, and these fiends needs to get high, so they find dough
To mainline dope, and ya'll know

[Hook: Anthony Hamilton]
The world is an addiction, serving up a fix
The world is an addiction, way too much for me

[Verse 4: Nas]
So many vices, habits, mine of course, bad chicks
My response to any advice on what is the essentials of life
I'm just rebellious, not selfish,
Guess we all share different definitions of what wealth is
I need the best things in life that's women, that's cars
Cigars in Venice, bottle on ice, that's priceless
The other night, just in the emergency room
A patient said she needs to see a doctor soon
Doctor busy operating on a lady who's sedated
He can barely concentrate, cause he's newly separated
His estranged wife likes entertaining her acquaintance
In the house they were married in, mad people waiting
Some young, some old, heads and stomachs aching
Filling out an application, cause they all need medication
But the doctor need love or a quick vacation, calling up his travel agent
Same time, premeditating murdering his ex wife
Life, savage ain't it
Some need Xanax, just to maintain it
We all need faith cause the world keep changing
Let go of the illusion, start some restraining

[Outro: Anthony Hamilton]
Just hold on (just hold on)
Just hold on (just hold on)
Just hold on (just hold on)
Just hold on (just hold on)
Just hold on (just hold on)
Just hold on (just hold on)
Just hold on (just hold on)
Just hold on

Be blessed and be a blessing! Namaste! Peace! Love! Joy! Abundance! Health! Prosperity! Freedom!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


For those who know me personally, once my son entered Kindergarten his behavior in school was completely out of control and unmanageable.  I did everything I could think of, I had him repeat scriptures in the morning, we talked, I would discipline, spank, punish, yell, scream.  Things are much better today but then, I was angry, frustrated, at my wits end with this precious child of mine.  I did seek professional help and he attends group and one on on therapy sessions.

But....recently, I picked up a book I'd began reading years ago, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and I had an aha moment.  In order to truly see changes in my sons behavior, I had to change my own.  Change how? Change my approach, my response, my energy, my attitude.  I had to approach the situation calmly, with a loving, unconditional heart.  I had to realize a lot of his behaviors are mirror images of my own and other adults in his life.  Ouch!!!!!  I think that is the hardest aspect of change for many people, the fact they have to self-examine.  They have to look inside themselves and change from the inside out.  Maybe the most difficult is admitting the fact that they need to change, that it is self and not others that are the "problem".  

For those of us in the work force, I'm sure many have had at least 1 manager that was not a good manager yet alone a leader.  The manager was simply focused on results, how to get the desired results, they used fear, strict rules, and their focus was on getting the final product as opposed to developing the individual, gaining their trust, loyalty, respect, and nurturing their talent.  Well, that same comparison was posed in the book, as a parent are you a manager or a leader?

Leaders lead by example.  If I don't want my son flying off the handle and getting upset, I can't do it.  If I want my son to have faith, I must have it.  If I want my son to eat healthy and exercise, I must do so.  If I want my so to be thankful in everything and not complain, I must do so.  If I want my son to read and enjoy reading, he must see me reading leisurely.  No matter what we tell our children and what we teach them, they are watching us, what we do and they will grow up to do many of the things they've seen us do throughout their life time.  The old saying, do as I say not as I do, isn't effective in the long run. So I ask you the question, as a parent are you an effective leader or simply a manager?

Now this parenting thing is a learning process and there is no full proof 100% plan but their are some basic principles that can be applied, give unconditional love, discipline, listen to your children, spend quality time, encourage, motivate, get them involved and be involved etc.

What I can tell you is once I became more calm in my spirit, worried less about what others thought of me as a parent or my child as an individual, as I take the time to care more about his fragile self-esteem, growth, and development; he is slowly changing for the better.  Or it could just simply be my outlook on the situation and the fact that he is getting older.  Now of course he still becomes angry, gets upset and flys off the handle sometimes BUT he is a work in progress and I take full responsibility for the EXAMPLE I've been and the EXAMPLE that I now choose to be.  And those outburst are becoming few and far between.  Funny, he was diagnosed with ADHD. We attended a therapy session on Monday and the psychologist was shocked that he'd only had 1 "episode" since returning back to school a week or so ago.  I wasn't shocked as I know medication is not the answer.  I don't want to numb my son,  I want to help my son become a productive, loving, faith filled, peaceful, kind, self-controlled man, NATURALLY!!!!!! So he now starts his day with yoga and devotion, we listen to gospel music on his way to school, and the last thing he hears me say is have a great day, I love you!

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Had I continued to approach the situation as I did originally, only focusing on changing my child and not working on self, I'm sure we wouldn't be progressing as we are.  As a parent, lover, friend, child, whatever your relationship with someone.  The only thing you have control over is yourself.  Someone tweeted one day, how do you plan to control your children when you have yet to Master yourself? So my focus, Master myself, my emotions, my reactions and be an example for my son.

"You must be the master of your emotions, if you wish to live in peace, for he who can control himself, becomes free." via @TheGodLight

"The only person over whom you have direct and immediate control s your self.  The most important assets to develop, preserve, and enhance, therefore, are your capabilities.  And no one can do it for you.  You must cultivate the habits of leadership effectiveness yourself and doing so will be the single best investment you'll ever make." Stephen R. Covey

There is a scripture in the bible that says you will know a tree by its fruit, well I read the other day, "you can't change the fruit without changing the root!"

Be a blessing and be blessed! Peace! Love! Joy! Happiness! Self-Control!

Monday, January 21, 2013

President Barack Obama & Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo: Day two - Inauguration weekend


Watch the video here

Martin Luther King, Jr

"I've Been to the Mountaintop"

delivered 3 April 1968, Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ Headquarters), Memphis, Tennessee

[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It's always good to have your closest friend and associate to say something good about you. And Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world. I'm delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow.

Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, "Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?" I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God's children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn't stop there.

I would move on by Greece and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon. And I would watch them around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would go on, even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire. And I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance, and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and aesthetic life of man. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would even go by the way that the man for whom I am named had his habitat. And I would watch Martin Luther as he tacked his ninety-five theses on the door at the church of Wittenberg. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating President by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would even come up to the early thirties, and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation. And come with an eloquent cry that we have nothing to fear but "fear itself." But I wouldn't stop there.

Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, "If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the 20th century, I will be happy."

Now that's a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. That's a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding.

Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee -- the cry is always the same: "We want to be free."

And another reason that I'm happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we are going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn't force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today.

And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn't done, and done in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed. Now, I'm just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period to see what is unfolding. And I'm happy that He's allowed me to be in Memphis.

I can remember -- I can remember when Negroes were just going around as Ralph has said, so often, scratching where they didn't itch, and laughing when they were not tickled. But that day is all over. We mean business now, and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God's world.

And that's all this whole thing is about. We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We are saying -- We are saying that we are God's children. And that we are God's children, we don't have to live like we are forced to live.

Now, what does all of this mean in this great period of history? It means that we've got to stay together. We've got to stay together and maintain unity. You know, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula for doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh's court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that's the beginning of getting out of slavery. Now let us maintain unity.

Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we've got to keep attention on that. That's always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers are on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn't get around to that.

Now we're going to march again, and we've got to march again, in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be -- and force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God's children here suffering, sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That's the issue. And we've got to say to the nation: We know how it's coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.

We aren't going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces; they don't know what to do. I've seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there, we would move out of the 16th Street Baptist Church day after day; by the hundreds we would move out. And Bull Connor would tell them to send the dogs forth, and they did come; but we just went before the dogs singing, "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around."

Bull Connor next would say, "Turn the fire hoses on." And as I said to you the other night, Bull Connor didn't know history. He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn't relate to the transphysics that we knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. And we went before the fire hoses; we had known water. If we were Baptist or some other denominations, we had been immersed. If we were Methodist, and some others, we had been sprinkled, but we knew water. That couldn't stop us.

And we just went on before the dogs and we would look at them; and we'd go on before the water hoses and we would look at it, and we'd just go on singing "Over my head I see freedom in the air." And then we would be thrown in the paddy wagons, and sometimes we were stacked in there like sardines in a can. And they would throw us in, and old Bull would say, "Take 'em off," and they did; and we would just go in the paddy wagon singing, "We Shall Overcome." And every now and then we'd get in jail, and we'd see the jailers looking through the windows being moved by our prayers, and being moved by our words and our songs. And there was a power there which Bull Connor couldn't adjust to; and so we ended up transforming Bull into a steer, and we won our struggle in Birmingham. Now we've got to go on in Memphis just like that. I call upon you to be with us when we go out Monday.

Now about injunctions: We have an injunction and we're going into court tomorrow morning to fight this illegal, unconstitutional injunction. All we say to America is, "Be true to what you said on paper." If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand some of these illegal injunctions. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so just as I say, we aren't going to let dogs or water hoses turn us around, we aren't going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.

We need all of you. And you know what's beautiful to me is to see all of these ministers of the Gospel. It's a marvelous picture. Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher? Somehow the preacher must have a kind of fire shut up in his bones. And whenever injustice is around he tell it. Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, and saith, "When God speaks who can but prophesy?" Again with Amos, "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." Somehow the preacher must say with Jesus, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me," and he's anointed me to deal with the problems of the poor."

And I want to commend the preachers, under the leadership of these noble men: James Lawson, one who has been in this struggle for many years; he's been to jail for struggling; he's been kicked out of Vanderbilt University for this struggle, but he's still going on, fighting for the rights of his people. Reverend Ralph Jackson, Billy Kiles; I could just go right on down the list, but time will not permit. But I want to thank all of them. And I want you to thank them, because so often, preachers aren't concerned about anything but themselves. And I'm always happy to see a relevant ministry.
It's all right to talk about "long white robes over yonder," in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here! It's all right to talk about "streets flowing with milk and honey," but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can't eat three square meals a day. It's all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God's preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.
Now the other thing we'll have to do is this: Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal. Now, we are poor people. Individually, we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively -- that means all of us together -- collectively we are richer than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine. Did you ever think about that? After you leave the United States, Soviet Russia, Great Britain, West Germany, France, and I could name the others, the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada. Did you know that? That's power right there, if we know how to pool it.
We don't have to argue with anybody. We don't have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don't need any bricks and bottles. We don't need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, "God sent us by here, to say to you that you're not treating his children right. And we've come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God's children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you."
And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy -- what is the other bread? -- Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart's bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven't been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on town -- downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right.
But not only that, we've got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. We want a "bank-in" movement in Memphis. Go by the savings and loan association. I'm not asking you something that we don't do ourselves at SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We are telling you to follow what we are doing. Put your money there. You have six or seven black insurance companies here in the city of Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an "insurance-in."
Now these are some practical things that we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base. And at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. I ask you to follow through here.

Now, let me say as I move to my conclusion that we've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We've got to see it through. And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school -- be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together.

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus, and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base....

Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn't stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the "I" into the "thou," and to be concerned about his brother.

Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn't stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn't be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that "One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony." And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem -- or down to Jericho, rather to organize a "Jericho Road Improvement Association." That's a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect.

But I'm going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It's possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, "I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable." It's a winding, meandering road. It's really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles -- or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you're about 2200 feet below sea level. That's a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the "Bloody Pass." And you know, it's possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked -- the first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

That's the question before you tonight. Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job. Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?" The question is not, "If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?" The question is, "If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?" That's the question.

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are you Martin Luther King?" And I was looking down writing, and I said, "Yes." And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's punctured, your drowned in your own blood -- that's the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had merely sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I've forgotten what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I've forgotten what that letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I'll never forget it. It said simply,

Dear Dr. King,

I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School."

And she said,

While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I'm a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze.

And I want to say tonight -- I want to say tonight that I too am happy that I didn't sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream, and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take a ride for freedom and ended segregation in inter-state travel.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent.

If I had sneezed -- If I had sneezed I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great Movement there.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering.

I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.

And they were telling me --. Now, it doesn't matter, now. It really doesn't matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us. The pilot said over the public address system, "We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we've had the plane protected and guarded all night."

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.

And I don't mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I'm happy, tonight.

I'm not worried about anything.

I'm not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!! (

Be a blessing and be blessed! Namaste! Peace! Love! Joy! Blessings! Prosperity! Abundance! Health! Faith!

Friday, January 18, 2013

"The Purpose of Education" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Purpose of Education

Morehouse College, 1948

"As I engage in the so-called "bull sessions" around and about the school, I too often find that most college men have a misconception of the purpose of education. Most of the "brethren" think that education should equip them with the proper instruments of exploitation so that they can forever trample over the masses. Still others think that education should furnish them with noble ends rather than means to an end.

It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the ligitimate goals of his life.

Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one's self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.

The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.

The late Eugene Talmadge, in my opinion, possessed one of the better minds of Georgia, or even America. Moreover, he wore the Phi Beta Kappa key. By all measuring rods, Mr. Talmadge could think critically and intensively; yet he contends that I am an inferior being. Are those the types of men we call educated?

We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.

If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, "brethren!" Be careful, teachers" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Be a blessing and be blessed! Namaste! Peace! Love! Joy! Abundance! Faith! Kindness! Self-Control

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Loving Your Enemies" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I am forced to preach under something of a handicap this morning. In fact, I had the doctor before coming to church. And he said that it would be best for me to stay in the bed this morning. And I insisted that I would have to come to preach. So he allowed me to come out with one stipulation, and that is that I would not come in the pulpit until time to preach, and that after, that I would immediately go back home and get in the bed. So I’m going to try to follow his instructions from that point on.

I want to use as a subject from which to preach this morning a very familiar subject, and it is familiar to you because I have preached from this subject twice before to my knowing in this pulpit. I try to make it a, something of a custom or tradition to preach from this passage of Scripture at least once a year, adding new insights that I develop along the way out of new experiences as I give these messages. Although the content is, the basic content is the same, new insights and new experiences naturally make for new illustrations. 
So I want to turn your attention to this subject: "Loving Your Enemies." It’s so basic to me because it is a part of my basic philosophical and theological orientation—the whole idea of love, the whole philosophy of love. In the fifth chapter of the gospel as recorded by Saint Matthew, we read these very arresting words flowing from the lips of our Lord and Master: "Ye have heard that it has been said, ‘Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven."

Certainly these are great words, words lifted to cosmic proportions. And over the centuries, many persons have argued that this is an extremely difficult command. Many would go so far as to say that it just isn’t possible to move out into the actual practice of this glorious command. They would go on to say that this is just additional proof that Jesus was an impractical idealist who never quite came down to earth. So the arguments abound. But far from being an impractical idealist, Jesus has become the practical realist. The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.

Now let me hasten to say that Jesus was very serious when he gave this command; he wasn’t playing. He realized that it’s hard to love your enemies. He realized that it’s difficult to love those persons who seek to defeat you, those persons who say evil things about you. He realized that it was painfully hard, pressingly hard. But he wasn’t playing. And we cannot dismiss this passage as just another example of Oriental hyperbole, just a sort of exaggeration to get over the point. This is a basic philosophy of all that we hear coming from the lips of our Master. Because Jesus wasn’t playing; because he was serious. We have the Christian and moral responsibility to seek to discover the meaning of these words, and to discover how we can live out this command, and why we should live by this command.
Now first let us deal with this question, which is the practical question: How do you go about loving your enemies? I think the first thing is this: In order to love your enemies, you must begin by analyzing self. And I’m sure that seems strange to you, that I start out telling you this morning that you love your enemies by beginning with a look at self. It seems to me that that is the first and foremost way to come to an adequate discovery to the how of this situation.

Now, I’m aware of the fact that some people will not like you, not because of something you have done to them, but they just won’t like you. I’m quite aware of that. Some people aren’t going to like the way you walk; some people aren’t going to like the way you talk. Some people aren’t going to like you because you can do your job better than they can do theirs. Some people aren’t going to like you because other people like you, and because you’re popular, and because you’re well-liked, they aren’t going to like you. Some people aren’t going to like you because your hair is a little shorter than theirs or your hair is a little longer than theirs. Some people aren’t going to like you because your skin is a little brighter than theirs; and others aren’t going to like you because your skin is a little darker than theirs. So that some people aren’t going to like you. They’re going to dislike you, not because of something that you’ve done to them, but because of various jealous reactions and other reactions that are so prevalent in human nature.

But after looking at these things and admitting these things, we must face the fact that an individual might dislike us because of something that we’ve done deep down in the past, some personality attribute that we possess, something that we’ve done deep down in the past and we’ve forgotten about it; but it was that something that aroused the hate response within the individual. That is why I say, begin with yourself. There might be something within you that arouses the tragic hate response in the other individual.

This is true in our international struggle. We look at the struggle, the ideological struggle between communism on the one hand and democracy on the other, and we see the struggle between America and Russia. Now certainly, we can never give our allegiance to the Russian way of life, to the communistic way of life, because communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. When we look at the methods of communism, a philosophy where somehow the end justifies the means, we cannot accept that because we believe as Christians that the end is pre-existent in the means. But in spite of all of the weaknesses and evils inherent in communism, we must at the same time see the weaknesses and evils within democracy.

Democracy is the greatest form of government to my mind that man has ever conceived, but the weakness is that we have never touched it. Isn’t it true that we have often taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes? Isn’t it true that we have often in our democracy trampled over individuals and races with the iron feet of oppression? Isn’t it true that through our Western powers we have perpetuated colonialism and imperialism? And all of these things must be taken under consideration as we look at Russia. We must face the fact that the rhythmic beat of the deep rumblings of discontent from Asia and Africa is at bottom a revolt against the imperialism and colonialism perpetuated by Western civilization all these many years. The success of communism in the world today is due to the failure of democracy to live up to the noble ideals and principles inherent in its system.

And this is what Jesus means when he said: "How is it that you can see the mote in your brother’s eye and not see the beam in your own eye?" Or to put it in Moffatt’s translation: "How is it that you see the splinter in your brother’s eye and fail to see the plank in your own eye?" And this is one of the tragedies of human nature. So we begin to love our enemies and love those persons that hate us whether in collective life or individual life by looking at ourselves.

A second thing that an individual must do in seeking to love his enemy is to discover the element of good in his enemy, and everytime you begin to hate that person and think of hating that person, realize that there is some good there and look at those good points which will over-balance the bad points.

I’ve said to you on many occasions that each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality. We’re split up and divided against ourselves. And there is something of a civil war going on within all of our lives. There is a recalcitrant South of our soul revolting against the North of our soul. And there is this continual struggle within the very structure of every individual life. There is something within all of us that causes us to cry out with Ovid, the Latin poet, "I see and approve the better things of life, but the evil things I do." There is something within all of us that causes us to cry out with Plato that the human personality is like a charioteer with two headstrong horses, each wanting to go in different directions. There is something within each of us that causes us to cry out with Goethe, "There is enough stuff in me to make both a gentleman and a rogue." There is something within each of us that causes us to cry out with Apostle Paul, "I see and approve the better things of life, but the evil things I do."

So somehow the "isness" of our present nature is out of harmony with the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts us. And this simply means this: That within the best of us, there is some evil, and within the worst of us, there is some good. When we come to see this, we take a different attitude toward individuals. The person who hates you most has some good in him; even the nation that hates you most has some good in it; even the race that hates you most has some good in it. And when you come to the point that you look in the face of every man and see deep down within him what religion calls "the image of God," you begin to love him in spite of. No matter what he does, you see God’s image there. There is an element of goodness that he can never sluff off. Discover the element of good in your enemy. And as you seek to hate him, find the center of goodness and place your attention there and you will take a new attitude.

Another way that you love your enemy is this: When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it. There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life. That’s the time you must not do it. That is the meaning of love. In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.

The Greek language, as I’ve said so often before, is very powerful at this point. It comes to our aid beautifully in giving us the real meaning and depth of the whole philosophy of love. And I think it is quite apropos at this point, for you see the Greek language has three words for love, interestingly enough. It talks about love as eros. That’s one word for love. Eros is a sort of, aesthetic love. Plato talks about it a great deal in his dialogues, a sort of yearning of the soul for the realm of the gods. And it’s come to us to be a sort of romantic love, though it’s a beautiful love. Everybody has experienced eros in all of its beauty when you find some individual that is attractive to you and that you pour out all of your like and your love on that individual. That is eros, you see, and it’s a powerful, beautiful love that is given to us through all of the beauty of literature; we read about it.

Then the Greek language talks about philia, and that’s another type of love that’s also beautiful. It is a sort of intimate affection between personal friends. And this is the type of love that you have for those persons that you’re friendly with, your intimate friends, or people that you call on the telephone and you go by to have dinner with, and your roommate in college and that type of thing. It’s a sort of reciprocal love. On this level, you like a person because that person likes you. You love on this level, because you are loved. You love on this level, because there’s something about the person you love that is likeable to you. This too is a beautiful love. You can communicate with a person; you have certain things in common; you like to do things together. This is philia.

The Greek language comes out with another word for love. It is the word agape. And agape is more than eros; agape is more than philia; agape is something of the understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. It is a love that seeks nothing in return. It is an overflowing love; it’s what theologians would call the love of God working in the lives of men. And when you rise to love on this level, you begin to love men, not because they are likeable, but because God loves them. You look at every man, and you love him because you know God loves him. And he might be the worst person you’ve ever seen.

And this is what Jesus means, I think, in this very passage when he says, "Love your enemy." And it’s significant that he does not say, "Like your enemy." Like is a sentimental something, an affectionate something. There are a lot of people that I find it difficult to like. I don’t like what they do to me. I don’t like what they say about me and other people. I don’t like their attitudes. I don’t like some of the things they’re doing. I don’t like them. But Jesus says love them. And love is greater than like. Love is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men, so that you love everybody, because God loves them. You refuse to do anything that will defeat an individual, because you have agape in your soul. And here you come to the point that you love the individual who does the evil deed, while hating the deed that the person does. This is what Jesus means when he says, "Love your enemy." This is the way to do it. When the opportunity presents itself when you can defeat your enemy, you must not do it.

Now for the few moments left, let us move from the practical how to the theoretical why. It’s not only necessary to know how to go about loving your enemies, but also to go down into the question of why we should love our enemies. I think the first reason that we should love our enemies, and I think this was at the very center of Jesus’ thinking, is this: that hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and go on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. [tapping on pulpit] It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.
I think I mentioned before that sometime ago my brother and I were driving one evening to Chattanooga, Tennessee, from Atlanta. He was driving the car. And for some reason the drivers were very discourteous that night. They didn’t dim their lights; hardly any driver that passed by dimmed his lights. And I remember very vividly, my brother A. D. looked over and in a tone of anger said: "I know what I’m going to do. The next car that comes along here and refuses to dim the lights, I’m going to fail to dim mine and pour them on in all of their power." And I looked at him right quick and said: "Oh no, don’t do that. There’d be too much light on this highway, and it will end up in mutual destruction for all. Somebody got to have some sense on this highway."

Somebody must have sense enough to dim the lights, and that is the trouble, isn’t it? That as all of the civilizations of the world move up the highway of history, so many civilizations, having looked at other civilizations that refused to dim the lights, and they decided to refuse to dim theirs. And Toynbee tells that out of the twenty-two civilizations that have risen up, all but about seven have found themselves in the junkheap of destruction. It is because civilizations fail to have sense enough to dim the lights. And if somebody doesn’t have sense enough to turn on the dim and beautiful and powerful lights of love in this world, the whole of our civilization will be plunged into the abyss of destruction. And we will all end up destroyed because nobody had any sense on the highway of history. Somewhere somebody must have some sense. Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody. Somebody must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil in the universe. And you do that by love.

There’s another reason why you should love your enemies, and that is because hate distorts the personality of the hater. We usually think of what hate does for the individual hated or the individuals hated or the groups hated. But it is even more tragic, it is even more ruinous and injurious to the individual who hates. You just begin hating somebody, and you will begin to do irrational things. You can’t see straight when you hate. You can’t walk straight when you hate. You can’t stand upright. Your vision is distorted. There is nothing more tragic than to see an individual whose heart is filled with hate. He comes to the point that he becomes a pathological case. For the person who hates, you can stand up and see a person and that person can be beautiful, and you will call them ugly. For the person who hates, the beautiful becomes ugly and the ugly becomes beautiful. For the person who hates, the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good. For the person who hates, the true becomes false and the false becomes true. That’s what hate does. You can’t see right. The symbol of objectivity is lost. Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater. And this is why Jesus says hate [recording interrupted]
. . . that you want to be integrated with yourself, and the way to be integrated with yourself is be sure that you meet every situation of life with an abounding love. Never hate, because it ends up in tragic, neurotic responses. Psychologists and psychiatrists are telling us today that the more we hate, the more we develop guilt feelings and we begin to subconsciously repress or consciously suppress certain emotions, and they all stack up in our subconscious selves and make for tragic, neurotic responses. And may this not be the neuroses of many individuals as they confront life that that is an element of hate there. And modern psychology is calling on us now to love. But long before modern psychology came into being, the world’s greatest psychologist who walked around the hills of Galilee told us to love. He looked at men and said: "Love your enemies; don’t hate anybody." It’s not enough for us to hate your friends because—to to love your friends—because when you start hating anybody, it destroys the very center of your creative response to life and the universe; so love everybody. Hate at any point is a cancer that gnaws away at the very vital center of your life and your existence. It is like eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective center of your life. So Jesus says love, because hate destroys the hater as well as the hated.

Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, "Love your enemies." It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, "Love your enemies." Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.

I think of one of the best examples of this. We all remember the great president of this United States, Abraham Lincoln—these United States rather. You remember when Abraham Lincoln was running for president of the United States, there was a man who ran all around the country talking about Lincoln. He said a lot of bad things about Lincoln, a lot of unkind things. And sometimes he would get to the point that he would even talk about his looks, saying, "You don’t want a tall, lanky, ignorant man like this as the president of the United States." He went on and on and on and went around with that type of attitude and wrote about it. Finally, one day Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States. And if you read the great biography of Lincoln, if you read the great works about him, you will discover that as every president comes to the point, he came to the point of having to choose a Cabinet. And then came the time for him to choose a Secretary of War. He looked across the nation, and decided to choose a man by the name of Mr. Stanton. And when Abraham Lincoln stood around his advisors and mentioned this fact, they said to him: "Mr. Lincoln, are you a fool? Do you know what Mr. Stanton has been saying about you? Do you know what he has done, tried to do to you? Do you know that he has tried to defeat you on every hand? Do you know that, Mr. Lincoln? Did you read all of those derogatory statements that he made about you?" Abraham Lincoln stood before the advisors around him and said: "Oh yes, I know about it; I read about it; I’ve heard him myself. But after looking over the country, I find that he is the best man for the job."

Mr. Stanton did become Secretary of War, and a few months later, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. And if you go to Washington, you will discover that one of the greatest words or statements ever made by, about Abraham Lincoln was made about this man Stanton. And as Abraham Lincoln came to the end of his life, Stanton stood up and said: "Now he belongs to the ages." And he made a beautiful statement concerning the character and the stature of this man. If Abraham Lincoln had hated Stanton, if Abraham Lincoln had answered everything Stanton said, Abraham Lincoln would have not transformed and redeemed Stanton. Stanton would have gone to his grave hating Lincoln, and Lincoln would have gone to his grave hating Stanton. But through the power of love Abraham Lincoln was able to redeem Stanton.

That’s it. There is a power in love that our world has not discovered yet. Jesus discovered it centuries ago. Mahatma Gandhi of India discovered it a few years ago, but most men and most women never discover it. For they believe in hitting for hitting; they believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; they believe in hating for hating; but Jesus comes to us and says, "This isn’t the way."
And oh this morning, as I think of the fact that our world is in transition now. Our whole world is facing a revolution. Our nation is facing a revolution, our nation. One of the things that concerns me most is that in the midst of the revolution of the world and the midst of the revolution of this nation, that we will discover the meaning of Jesus’ words.

History unfortunately leaves some people oppressed and some people oppressors. And there are three ways that individuals who are oppressed can deal with their oppression. One of them is to rise up against their oppressors with physical violence and corroding hatred. But oh this isn’t the way. For the danger and the weakness of this method is its futility. Violence creates many more social problems than it solves. And I’ve said, in so many instances, that as the Negro, in particular, and colored peoples all over the world struggle for freedom, if they succumb to the temptation of using violence in their struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and our chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos. Violence isn’t the way.

Another way is to acquiesce and to give in, to resign yourself to the oppression. Some people do that. They discover the difficulties of the wilderness moving into the promised land, and they would rather go back to the despots of Egypt because it’s difficult to get in the promised land. And so they resign themselves to the fate of oppression; they somehow acquiesce to this thing. But that too isn’t the way because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.

But there is another way. And that is to organize mass non-violent resistance based on the principle of love. It seems to me that this is the only way as our eyes look to the future. As we look out across the years and across the generations, let us develop and move right here. We must discover the power of love, the power, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that we will be able to make of this old world a new world. We will be able to make men better. Love is the only way. Jesus discovered that.

Not only did Jesus discover it, even great military leaders discover that. One day as Napoleon came toward the end of his career and looked back across the years—the great Napoleon that at a very early age had all but conquered the world. He was not stopped until he became, till he moved out to the battle of Leipzig and then to Waterloo. But that same Napoleon one day stood back and looked across the years, and said: "Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have built great empires. But upon what did they depend? They depended upon force. But long ago Jesus started an empire that depended on love, and even to this day millions will die for him."

Yes, I can see Jesus walking around the hills and the valleys of Palestine. And I can see him looking out at the Roman Empire with all of her fascinating and intricate military machinery. But in the midst of that, I can hear him saying: "I will not use this method. Neither will I hate the Roman Empire." [Radio Announcer:] (WRMA, Montgomery, Alabama. Due to the fact of the delay this morning, we are going over with the sermon.) [several words inaudible] . . . and just start marching.

And I’m proud to stand here in Dexter this morning and say that that army is still marching. It grew up from a group of eleven or twelve men to more than seven hundred million today. Because of the power and influence of the personality of this Christ, he was able to split history into a.d. and b.c. Because of his power, he was able to shake the hinges from the gates of the Roman Empire. And all around the world this morning, we can hear the glad echo of heaven ring:
Jesus shall reign wherever sun,
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom spreads from shore to shore,
Till moon shall wane and wax no more.
We can hear another chorus singing: "All hail the power of Jesus name!"
We can hear another chorus singing: "Hallelujah, hallelujah! He’s King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Hallelujah, hallelujah!"
We can hear another choir singing:
In Christ there is no East or West.
In Him no North or South,
But one great Fellowship of Love
Throughout the whole wide world.
This is the only way.

And our civilization must discover that. Individuals must discover that as they deal with other individuals. There is a little tree planted on a little hill and on that tree hangs the most influential character that ever came in this world. But never feel that that tree is a meaningless drama that took place on the stages of history. Oh no, it is a telescope through which we look out into the long vista of eternity, and see the love of God breaking forth into time. It is an eternal reminder to a power-drunk generation that love is the only way. It is an eternal reminder to a generation depending on nuclear and atomic energy, a generation depending on physical violence, that love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming power in the universe.

So this morning, as I look into your eyes, and into the eyes of all of my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you, "I love you. I would rather die than hate you." And I’m foolish enough to believe that through the power of this love somewhere, men of the most recalcitrant bent will be transformed. And then we will be in God’s kingdom. We will be able to matriculate into the university of eternal life because we had the power to love our enemies, to bless those persons that cursed us, to even decide to be good to those persons who hated us, and we even prayed for those persons who despitefully used us.

Oh God, help us in our lives and in all of our attitudes, to work out this controlling force of love, this controlling power that can solve every problem that we confront in all areas. Oh, we talk about politics; we talk about the problems facing our atomic civilization. Grant that all men will come together and discover that as we solve the crisis and solve these problems—the international problems, the problems of atomic energy, the problems of nuclear energy, and yes, even the race problem—let us join together in a great fellowship of love and bow down at the feet of Jesus. Give us this strong determination. In the name and spirit of this Christ, we pray. Amen.

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Be blessed and be a blessing! Peace! Love! Joy! Abundance! Health! Faith! Namaste