“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. | The View
MLK Talks ‘New Phase’ Of Civil Rights Struggle, 11 Months Before His Assassination | NBC News
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Martin Luther King, Jr
Silence is Betrayal:– As we approach both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday on the 15th and the 25th anniversary of the Federal government designated holiday – MLK Day on the 20th, I’ve decided to revisit some of his words of wisdom on the subject of SILENCE because they are applicable to all areas of our lives. Even though Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spent less than 13 years, from December 1955 to April 4, 1968, as a key leader of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, he left behind an impressive, inspired body of work that remains a timeless legacy of his passion for peace, unity, and equality. His vision, his philosophy, and his quotes are infused with the same degree of passion and advice he had for us as a community of people who share a common inextricable destiny as humans on this planet. If we consider his message on the dangers of silence, we soon realize that being silent about evil or injustice will inevitably have an impact on our lives. To turn a blind eye in the face of evil and pretend it is not happening or to wish it away is not going to change the situation.
How are we using silence to negate ourselves and others? As a matter of fact, the more we ignore an issue, the more we resist a condition, the more it persists and festers. When we refuse to be silenced by our oppressors in the workplace, at home, our schools and elsewhere, we are taking a stand to end the abuse against us and also against others. Every time we stand up and speak out against acts of violence, discrimination, and the negation of our existence, we are also speaking for the voiceless and facilitating change. When we see something and say nothing, we might give an excuse that it is none of our business but, the actions we ignore can someday lead to more pain and suffering for people close to us or, frankly, for us. To be proactive about ending violence, workplace harassment, and other forms of abuse/discrimination, we must all become engineers of change. Each of us must answer the following questions and search our conscience on why we choose to sit back and turn away from the suffering and denial of basic rights and aid for others: What are you doing for others? How is the tyranny of silence affecting our relationships and other areas of our lives? Read the quotes, poems and watch the videos and reflect on them.
To Be or Not to Be SILENT: Please do NOT confuse the silence discussed here with the silence we observe when we are being contemplative or reflective about issues that need to be carefully weighed. Let’s not confuse the silence explored here with the silence I wrote about in another blog post on SILENCE or Haiku on the POWER of SILENCE. This post is completely different from those posts because this is written in the context of Dr. King’s legacy, the Civil Rights Movement, and his efforts against racial discrimination, poverty, and inequality. We can choose to be silent whenever we want. The points being raised here have to do with oppression, discrimination, and abuse. There is NEVER a good excuse for remaining silent in the face of oppression, discrimination, and hate. Come Back For More!
READ:- Motivation Mondays: Reflections on #MLKDAY 2019
Motivation Mondays: Walk in the Light #MLKDay 2018
Motivation Mondays: Why Does #MLKDAY Matter? 2017
Martin Luther King, Jr. at Columbia | Columbia Magazine
Breaking The Silence by Lovina Sylvia Chidi
I’m breaking the silence
As I finish this sentence
Six months ago
My heart said yes
My head said no, go slow
In my silence I hid the truth, expressing fear
In my silence I hid my feelings, registering no care
In my silence I hid my thoughts, refusing to share
Any of my ideas
Prosperous is the silence
Abundance of it can turn life
Into a nasty experience
I’m breaking the silence
As I finish this sentence
Ceaselessly I’ve combated with my conscience
Endlessly in silence, I exposed my defense
Allowing all to penetrate my territory without a valid license
I should have said no with my voice
I should have asked why by making some noise
In silence, I created an air of suspense
And they capitalized on it in my absence
In silence, all my thoughts mingled
Some of which should have been singled
I’m breaking the silence
As I finish this sentence
Silence I demand
Give back to me my independence
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech – August 28, 1963
Martin Luther King The Three Evils of Society
It’s not the violence of the few that scares me, it’s the silence of the many
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.
Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. Martin Luther King, Jr
How is the tyranny of silence affecting our relationships and other areas of our lives? When we stay silent about tyrants and their behavior, we become part of the problem, not the solution. When I was a little girl, we lived next door to a family that was very abusive towards their daughter. She was much older than us and they were always yelling at her, beating her up and calling her names because she was a weak student. They kept her locked in the house and, every time my friends and I would sneak up to her home and look through the window, we’d see her sitting at the dining table, looking miserable with books opened before her. There was a time we caught her crying desperately, we all felt so sad for her. It made no sense to me that any parent would think it was the right way to encourage learning. It wasn’t. It was vicious and psychologically damaging to that teen girl.
After much debate and discussion with my friends, we agreed that I should, at least, tell my mother about what was going on next door. My mom was outraged and confronted the parents right away. Thankfully, they didn’t deny what they were doing but, instead, they decided to move away. Before they moved, they had several conversations with my parents and made an effort to change their tactics. At different points in my life, that memory surfaces and reminds me that even children recognize wrongdoing and that staying silent is not always the best option. I wonder what became of that young girl, and I hope that my simple act of letting my Mom know might have saved her life. By the same token, Dr. King did not ignore the oppression around him because he believed that change must begin by taking action and using our voices to condemn discriminatory practices. He spoke up.
When we see abusive behavior and stay silent, we become co-conspirators of the abuser. Some people say they don’t want to get caught in other people’s drama and that is why they stay silent. What I am advocating is to, at least, make an effort to report the situation, share it with other like-minded folks, and reach out to the abused to support them to take more action. Every step we take in the right direction is a step towards freedom and the end of abuse for someone. The MeToo movement came about as a result of women finally taking a stand to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. As women stepped forward to share their testimony of abuse, they emboldened other women to gain the confidence they needed to step forward and do the same; by breaking the code of silence, they broke the chains of abuse.
When we stand for something, we put a stop to the tyranny of silence that clouds our decisions. While we might not always be successful at encouraging people to change, our effort is never wasted. Sometimes, a message we share reaches those who need it indirectly. The first and biggest step is to step forward and name evil. Call out the injustice and stand by your decision. If you don’t do it, who will? We have a shared responsibility to protect our planet and our lives on it. Each of us has a role to play. You don’t need a platform or a podium, you need your inner conviction to stand up and speak up. What can we do to help those around us who are struggling to end family violence, feed their families and protect loved ones against prejudice? We can speak out about our own struggles and those of our loved ones and support them with compassion and care. We can file reports or reach out to relevant agencies like the NDVO, SNAP, and EEOC to get them much needed assistance. We can all study more and become advocates for change by learning about social justice. Dr. King’s philosophical leanings were steeped in battling for social justice; he spoke out against the Triple Evils of Poverty, Racism, and Militarism and how these evils impact the Black community. He understood clearly that what we do to others will affect our own, and wishing better for others will ultimately benefit our own. Our approach or tone might be different but the goal would be the same. Don’t be silent.
Silence by Edgar Lee Masters
I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid,
And the silence of the sick
When their eyes roam about the room.
And I ask: For the depths,
Of what use is language?
A beast of the field moans a few times
When death takes its young.
And we are voiceless in the presence of realities —
We cannot speak.
A curious boy asks an old soldier
Sitting in front of the grocery store,
“How did you lose your leg?”
And the old soldier is struck with silence,
Or his mind flies away
Because he cannot concentrate it on Gettysburg.
It comes back jocosely
And he says, “A bear bit it off.”
And the boy wonders, while the old soldier
Dumbly, feebly lives over
The flashes of guns, the thunder of cannon,
The shrieks of the slain,
And himself lying on the ground,
And the hospital surgeons, the knives,
And the long days in bed.
But if he could describe it all
He would be an artist.
But if he were an artist there would be deeper wounds
Which he could not describe.
There is the silence of a great hatred,
And the silence of a great love,
And the silence of an embittered friendship.
There is the silence of a spiritual crisis,
Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured,
Comes with visions not to be uttered
Into a realm of higher life.
There is the silence of defeat.
There is the silence of those unjustly punished;
And the silence of the dying whose hand
Suddenly grips yours.
There is the silence between father and son,
When the father cannot explain his life,
Even though he be misunderstood for it.
There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.
There is the silence of those who have failed;
And the vast silence that covers
Broken nations and vanquished leaders.
There is the silence of Lincoln,
Thinking of the poverty of his youth.
And the silence of Napoleon
And the silence of Jeanne d’Arc
Saying amid the flames, “Blessed Jesus” —
Revealing in two words all sorrows, all hope.
And there is the silence of age,
Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it
In words intelligible to those who have not lived
The great range of life.
And there is the silence of the dead.
If we who are in life cannot speak
Of profound experiences,
Why do you marvel that the dead
Do not tell you of death?
Their silence shall be interpreted
As we approach them.
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for DEC 2019 – JAN 2020 are:
12/01 – 01 World AIDS Day, 03 Giving Tuesday, World Day of Persons with Disabilities, 05 International Volunteer Day, 07 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
12/08 – 09 International Day Commemoration Victims of Genocide, 10 Universal Human Rights Month/Human Rights Day, 12 Universal Health Coverage Day
12/15 – 15 Bill of Rights Day, 18 International Migrants Day, 20 International Human Solidarity Day, 21 Winter Solstice
12/22 – 22 First Day of Hanukkah, 25 Christmas Day, 26 Boxing Day, First Day of Kwanzaa
12/29 – 30 Last Day of Hanukkah, 31 New Year’s Eve
01/01 – 01 HAPPY NEW YEAR!,
01/05 – 05 Golden Globes Awards, 06 Epiphany, 11 Human Trafficking Awareness Day,
01/12 – 12 Critics Choice Awards, 14 Orthodox New Year, 16 Religious Freedom Day, 18 PGA Awards, Winnie the Pooh Day
01/19 – 20
01/29 – 30 TBD
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“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” Martin Luther King, Jr
MLK: The Other America
Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream. Martin Luther King, Jr
What are you doing for others? Be of service to others. Go Serve! During the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, many lives were lost because of the refusal by both government agencies and individuals to acknowledge the need for more research, access to appropriate treatment/drugs, and effective help and support to those affected in our communities. A popular phrase that came out of the movement to bring global attention to the epidemic was the phrase Silence=Death. That phrase remains relevant today in so many parts of our global family because it is pertinent to all critical events that have a life-changing impact globally. We can champion change in small and large ways. How? When you write a post on a subject that needs attention, contribute to a worthy cause/charity or volunteer your time with an organization that needs assistance, you are contributing something to aid change. When we remember to give back to our communities by helping other folks in need, we are speaking out through our actions.
What is your Moral Compass? Take a position that will benefit us all and defend it. Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus and that single act of defiance triggered the movement to end racial discrimination on public transportation. The reverberations of that singular action were felt beyond the act itself, and it championed others to stand fearlessly against oppression. While Dr. King gave his voice and ultimately his life to the Civil rights movement, he did not act alone. He encouraged many folks across the racial divide to step up and speak up. After his assassination, his message and legacy continued because so many people believed his message of peace, unity, and equality. Many more were already part of the movement and they kept up the demands for change. How do we sleep at night while so many face unimaginable challenges every day?
Why does this matter? It matters because to be silent in the face of hatred and oppression is to condone it. As I’ve shared in other posts on this subject, Dr. King was a torchbearer who shone his light on the ugly darkness of hatred and oppression. As the years go by and a new generation of Americans learn about his life and legacy, his message and call for action will continue to resonate in our hearts and mind and will shine even brighter. Why is his message still relevant some might wonder…? Because he spoke to our hearts so eloquently about the discriminatory practices going on then and that, in many cases, continue to go on today. He was fearless about shining a light on the truth and the atrocities of the day. He walked his talk and spoke up for changes that would benefit all of us. His selfless acts inspired many others to stand in their truth and condemn the treatment of the oppressed. Dr. King’s courage and passion for equality continue to serve as a shining path for all of us to walk on and be reminded that we must remain vigilant and stand up against all forms of oppression. When we turn a blind eye to one form of oppression, we encourage the perpetuation of others… When we remain silent about wrongdoing, and, brush it off because we believe it has no impact on our lives, one day it will…
Positive Motivation Tip: To be silent in the face of hatred and oppression is to condone it. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Silence=Death.
Motivation Mondays series is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
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Tag: – Motivation Mondays
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