Strength To Love
Martin Luther King Jr.’s book of sermons, Strength To Love, was written during the Civil Rights struggle (several written in prison). King’s poetic style was aimed at a live church audience – you can almost hear the “Amens” after each sentence. But his words remain relevant 50 years on as he encourages people to be forgiving, non-violent, and non-conformists; and to confront militarism and inequality:
Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together…
Expenditures for defence have risen to mountainous proportions. The nations have believed that greater armaments will cast out fear, but they have produced greater fear.
Through non-violent resistance we shall be able to oppose the unjust system and at the same time love the perpetrators of the system. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
Capitalism must undergo continual change if our great national wealth is to be more equitably distributed.
All life is interrelated. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.
Here’s King’s anti-war speech, made shortly before he was shot. (This recording later got a Grammy for Best Spoken Word):