Thursday, 24 July 2014

I refuse to accept despair

I normally listen to podcasts in my car while driving and started listening to one yesterday from the BBC Documentaries series called "No Destination" which is a recount of the journey of Satish Kumar, a Gandhian, who fifty years ago walked for peace from New Delhi to Moscow, Paris, London and Washington DC when the threat of nuclear tensions was at its highest.  Kumar's journey was that of peace and he went to convey that message to the respective heads of state of the four major capitals he visited.

Right at the end of the documentary though, there was an excerpt from a Martin Luther King Jr. speech that resonated with me in light of the current political climate.  Most of us have heard King's "I have a Dream" speech but his "I refuse to accept despair" speech is probably not as well known but read it (or listen to it if you can, I couldn't find a proper website that had it) and share this message of peace with those around you.  I hope it resonates as strongly with you as it did with me.

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I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men.