I am writing this on Martin Luther King Day. There is no need to retell Dr King’s life here: but there is, I feel, a pressing need for us to remind ourselves of just a few of the important words that he spoke in his all-too-short life.
Dr King was of course a Christian minister—his leadership was one based in the Love and Forgiveness of the Christ. It is impossible to appreciate the moral strength of the Civil Rights Movement in the US without truly embracing this fact. And while he spoke often in anger of the prejudices and pain he experienced and witnessed, he never encouraged violence. Indeed, as a Christian, his work was based in the difficult task of forgiving and loving not those with whom one basically agrees, but forgiving and loving those who could even be called one’s enemies. And so he could, without guile or hypocrisy state:
He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Wherever you might stand on the political spectrum (if indeed you envisage your political life in those terms) it can be a good practice to check from time to time whether one’s own words and thoughts about forgiving and loving are only applicable to those who stand in the same place—or if those words are filled with real spiritual potential and are courageously extended to those in a very different place than oneself. Loving and forgiving those with whom one basically agrees is easy: loving those whose actions and thinking might be incomprehensible is the challenge. And perhaps through the restorative power of love that has been offered freely, one can then take steps to also understand what was once incomprehensible.
At a time when we are surrounded by the specter of tolerance not extended to those of opposing political and social thought, where a good half of this country’s population is written off as being stupid, right-wing, racist and deplorable, remembering the power of love and of forgiveness is needed more than ever.
In closing this tribute to Dr King, I wish to quote his most well known words from his I Have a Dream speech:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
The dominant voices in academia which are spreading (like a virus?) into the rest of our culture say that this is nonsense, that the color of one’s skin determines—determines!!---everything. Like the Calvinists who claim that one is damned no matter what one does, the character of one’s life, actions and moral stand are not what counts: if one is Black or if one is White, then that is the determining factor of one’s behavior and worth. And so a Trump supporter like Kanye West is called ‘not Black’ and a White person claiming to be non racist is called a White Supremacist. Such an ideological way of thinking negates the individual and their unique path through life.
Christopherus Homeschool Resources as a company and as a part of both the Waldorf and homeschooling movements is committed to the loving impulses of the Civil Rights Movement, honoring the individual experiences of its customers, friends and clients, whilst celebrating the differences that bring richness, diversity and the full range of human experience to the fore. Christopherus will never make a statement—but it will always exert all of its efforts to empowering parents and teachers to bring a form of parenting and education to their children that arises out of the authenticity of their unique individual experiences enriched by their cultural backgrounds so as to honor both family background and the children’s unique paths of growth.