“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
What do these words mean? What was he speaking of when he said these words? Dr. King was speaking of tolerance and peace. Both of these things are a dying virtue in today’s society. We can’t seem to change a TV channel without noticing it. Maybe tonight we should remind ourselves of what peace and tolerance is.
Friends, peace in our lives and within our society is not arrived by merely doing nothing. Divergent to nothing, peace can only be attained by doing fundamental and important things within our lives and our society, as individuals and as a collective. We must do this without conflict.
Each of us must live with purpose, compassion, love and forgiveness within our hearts and most of all, tolerance. Our lives, our work and the whole of our worlds are filled with many interests that are conflicting but that in no way means that we must handle them by arguing and fighting and blaming.
If we look close enough in life, we can see that conflicting interests are resolved in positive ways each day. However, that is one of life’s greatest challenge’s and I have a feeling that it is a challenge that each of you are up for.
Let us each not just seek to do significant things. Let us seek to achieve what we desire to achieve in life for ourselves and our society with a peaceful heart. When we do this, we change the whole of humanity for the better. Let us be engaged with our lives while we each remain at peace with who we each are.
Friends, tolerance means that we have the desire and the ability to accept and to value the differences between our peoples. Doing so enriches each of us as individuals and as a collective. Tolerance knows that all humans have a limited perspective on the world based on our personal histories and that woven together, our tapestry of knowledge, insights and virtues is far greater than those of the individual person, tribe or culture alone.
When we practice tolerance, we acknowledge the vastness of our reality and we cherish the many living faces of this reality. When we stop and we watch and we listen and seek to know one another we then see how many pieces of the whole fit together.
Let us all delight in the otherness of strangers as well as our intimate companions, all the while knowing that our own individual lives would really be less rich if everyone was like everyone else.