Peace in the Face of Hate
Since leaving the police department and becoming a teacher, I have taken a stronger interest in non-violent conflict resolution. I have come to admire Dr. King not just because of the cause he represented, but because of the tactics he used to bring about his desired outcome of change.
In the face of hate, violence, and aggression against his people, Dr. King stuck to his ideals of peaceful protests and non-violence. He understood that violence only brought about more violence and served to further tarnish the name of all that he stood for.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
His words embody a wisdom that so many of us entangled in conflict fail to see because it is difficult to look beyond what is right in front of us. We fail to see beyond a single battle to plan for the greater conflict that lies ahead. What will victory look like for us? If a single “battle” is won, does that change everything? Dr. King realized that if a battle was won through violent means, the opposition would simply retaliate at a later date with even more force and violence. He realized that the only way “win” was to embrace the fact that we are all in this together, and in order for there to be peace, we all need to be at peace with not just each other, but also ourselves.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
I take inspiration from this great man, not just because once a year I get a day off from work, but each and every day of my life because I believe in what he stood for. I have stood in the face of conflict, and I have faced violent moments. I have used force against those who have tried to do me harm, but in the end I realized a simple truth: Dr. King was right. We are all in this together, and violence is not the way. He who is my enemy today may be in a position to help me tomorrow…