Here is one of Martin Luther King Juniors speeches that I find is the essence of (some)truth.
It’s about morality. It’s about choosing right over wrong. It’s about speaking out and speaking up instead of living in a culture of silence, of backstabbing, of hate.
The message I want to throw out there is that if you believe in what is right and what is wrong, as fundamentals, then you should speak up.
I think that when he gave this speech in 1954, he was witnessing the beginning of a downfall in moral culture.
Relativism is officially the only lens through which we are allowed to think.
I think that is wrong.
I think that things like speaking out for mental health and then slamming someone with mental health issues with personal judgment is wrong.
I think that lying to your children about who your family is, is wrong.
I think that grabbing your child by her hair and dragging her out of a bath tub, screaming and crying, is wrong.
I think that threatening her step sister with the same behavior is wrong.
I think that judging a developping child negatively, is wrong. (Because then all the child thinks is “I’m bad, I’m not good enough”. And the child BECOMES what you’ve described)
I don’t think time changes someone. I think saying it does is wrong.
I think expecting your children to keep secrets from their brothers and sisters, is wrong.
I think keeping secrets, generally, is wrong.
I think forgiving criminals, is wrong, even if they are family.
I think that relativism has suffocated truth, and blinded morals. It has taken whatever is evil in this world, and instead of pushing it out, it has let it grow.
So that there are more little hells in the living world than what certain religions promise in the afterlife.
But that’s just my take on it. To counteract the trend, do what is RIGHT:
- Be truthful
- Speak out
- Be honest
- Be authentic
- Don’t keep secrets from those that are supposed to matter
- Accept another’s mistakes and how they shaped you BUT remember that you don’t need to stick around for another round
- If something is screaming inside you, let it out
- Control your own life
- love deeply and truthfully
- Make up your own mind
- Remember that family is the most important center – figure out who that family is.
- Be grateful, but don’t let anyone manipulate you.
Ok so here are parts of the speech:
The trouble isn’t so much that we don’t know enough, but it’s as if we aren’t good enough. The trouble isn’t so much that our scientific genius lags behind,but our moral genius lags behind. The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live, have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul.
We haven’t learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. The real problem is that through our scientific genius we’ve made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we’ve failed to make of it a brotherhood. And the great danger facing us today is not so much the atomic bomb that was created by physical science. Not so much that atomic bomb that you can put in an aeroplane and drop on the heads of hundreds and thousands of people-as dangerous as that is. But the real danger confronting civiliza- tion today is that atomic bomb which lies in the hearts and souls of men, capable of exploding into the vilest of hate and into the most damaging selfishness. That’s the atomic bomb that we’ve got to fear today.
The only way we can do it is to go back, and rediscover some mighty precious values that we’ve left behind.
I want to deal with one or two of these mighty precious values that we’ve left behind, that if we’re to go forward and to make this a better world, we must rediscover.
The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this-that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe, just as abiding as the physical laws. I’m not so sure we all believe that. We never doubt that there are physical laws of the universe that we must obey. And so we just don’t jump out of airplanes or jump off of high buildings for the fun of it-we don’t do that. Because we, we unconsciously know that there is a final law of gravitation, and if you disobey it you’ll suffer the consequences-we know that. Even if we don’t know it in its Newtonian formulation, we know it intuitively, and so we just don’t jump off the highest building in Detroit for the fun of it-we, we don’t do that.
But I’m not so sure if we know that there are moral laws, just as abiding as the physical law. I’m not so sure about that. I’m not so sure we really believe that there is a law of love in this universe, and that if you disobey it you’ll suffer the consequences. I’m not so sure if we really believe that.
Now, at least two things convince me that, that we don’t believe that, that we have strayed away from the principle that this is a moral universe.
The first thing is that we have adopted in the modern world a sort of a relativistic ethic. Now, I’m not trying to use a big word here. I’m trying to say something very concrete. And that is, that we have accepted the attitude that right and wrong are merely relative.
Most people can’t stand up for their, for their convictions, because the majority of people might not be doing it. See, everybody’s not doing it, so it must be wrong. And, and since everybody is doing it, it must be right.
So a sort of numerical interpretation of what’s right. But I’m here to say to you this morning that some things are right and some things are wrong. Eternally so, absolutely so.
It’s wrong to hate. It always has been wrong and it always will be wrong! It’s wrong in America, it’s wrong in Germany, it’s wrong in Russia, it’s wrong in China! It was wrong in two thousand B.c., and it’s wrong in nineteen fifty-four A.D.! It always has been wrong, (That’s right) and it always will be wrong! (That’s right) It’s wrong to throw our lives away in riotous living. (Yeah) No matter if everybody in Detroit is doing it. It’s wrong! (Yes) It always will be wrong! And it always has been wrong. It’s wrong in every age, and it’s wrong in every nation. Some things are right and some things are wrong, no matter if everybody is doing the contrary. Some things in this universe are absolute.
The other thing is that we have adopted is a sort of a pragmatic test for right and wrong-whatever works is right. If it works, it’s all right. Nothing is wrong but that which does not work. If you don’t get caught, it’s right. [Laughter] That’s the attitude, isn’t it? It’s all right to disobey the Ten Commandments, but just don’t disobey the Eleventh, Thou shall not get caught. [Laughter] That’s the attitude. That’s the prevailing attitude in, in our culture. (Come on) No matter what you do, just do it with a,with a bit of finesse. (All right) You know, a sort of attitude of the survival of the slickest. Not the Darwinian survival of the fittest, but the survival of the slickest- whoever can be the slickest is, is the one who right. It’s all right to lie, but lie with dignity. [Laughter] It’s all right to steal and to rob and extort, but do it with a bit of finesse. (Yes) It’s even all right to hate, but just dress your hate up in the garments of love and make it appear that you are loving when you are actually hating. Just get by! That’s the thing that’s right according to this new ethic.
My friends, that attitude is destroying the soul of our culture! (You’reright there) It’s destroying our nation! (Oh yes) The thing that we need in the world today, is a group of men and women who will stand up for right and be opposed to wrong, wherever it is. A group of people who have come to see that some things are wrong, whether they’re never caught up with. Some things are right, whether nobody sees you doing them or not.
That’s what we need in the world today-people who will stand for right and goodness. It’s not enough to know the intricacies of zoology and biology. But we must know the intricacies of law.
It is not enough to know that two and two makes four. But we’ve got to know somehow that it’s right to be honest and just with our brothers. It’s not enough to know all about our philosophical and mathematical disciplines. But we’ve got to know the simple disciplines, of being honest and loving and just with all humanity. If we don’t learn it, we will destroy ourselves, by the misuse of our own powers.
🎀Isn’t THAT enlightening?
(Speech found here.)