Martin Luther King, Jnr was a Baptist pastor in America. King was also a Nobel Peace champion and one of the key leaders in the American civil rights lobby group. This was a movement for championing the rights of America’s minority groups especially blacks. King was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. His father was a Baptist preacher and his mother a school teacher. King studied theology earning his doctorate degree in 1955. After this, he went on to become a preacher of a kind that America had not produced before.
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He led numerous processions to protest injustices on the land and cases of segregation that were numerous back then. Famous among these were the Montgomery bus protest in 1955 and protesting on the war in Vietnam. King also delivered some keynote speeches which up to date are referred to by many as a source of inspiration. One of these is the “I have a dream” speech where he talked about the America that he dreamt of. However, it was a speech that he delivered in 1967 that saw even his ardent supporters desert him for what they thought was a hard stance on the government. It was most likely these same beliefs that saw him murdered a year later.
King was someone who believed in equal rights for all. He believed in a true revolution of values. Many of his values were not favorable to many people and especially those in authority. In his 1967 speech, he criticized the government that had abandoned its development goals to pursue worthless strategies like propagating the war in Vietnam. King described America as a country that was spreading violence in the world. He condemned how the government was using its funds to destroy other countries in the name of democracy. He taught all of this from a religious point of view. This made him an enemy to many including his fellow clergymen.
King believed that if a true revolution of values was to be achieved there was a need to only begin this at a national level but an individual level as well. He saw the way people loved themselves as the source of all the misery that the world is going through today. This is true especially looking at our country today where people are placing what they believe about themselves first to those of other people. He saw true compassion as more than just helping the poor. He termed it as that urge that will cause us to re-examine our stand on those issues that we are confronted with on day to day basis.
According to Martin the policy of killing people, leaving children, and causing them untaught suffering in the name of fighting terrorism is not a true revolution of policies. A true revolution of policies entails that we take care of the suffering in our midst. It will cause us to be more sensitive to the plight of the suffering among us. It dictates that we should not be the source of suffering among our brothers. He reiterates that the true revolution of policies should go beyond borders and sections. It should not be centered on one’s family or tribe but should be values that make us treasure the other person as our brother.
Let’s now answer the question, is the true revolution of values possible in America today? To answer this question it’s important to look at recent occurrences in our country today. Many of our leaders today are passing policies that are not only hurting our country but the rest of the world as well. Recent happenings in our world today confirm this. There have been cases of fighting occasioned by our country.
The war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and recent rumors about attacks on Iran and Sudan are good cases in the example. This has left untold suffering to millions of people in the affected countries. The number of orphans has risen in these countries owing to the number of parents who have been killed in these countries. It’s therefore ironic that our country is rushing to help the situation that they have helped create. According to King, this is not a true revolution of values.
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With the current brand of leaders in our society, I highly doubt that it will be possible to achieve the desired revolution. Although in America today we have a black president in Obama we are still far from getting the change in values that King dreamt of. King taught that true revolution would only be gotten when people realized that love has to rule over hate and peace over war. As I have stated, King used to view everything from a religious point of view.
In our society, today religion is almost becoming obsolete. Those who are religious are viewed as outcasts in society today. Therefore it’s almost impossible to achieve a revolution of values in our society unless we change our existing leaders. (Martin, 1963)
Martin Luther dreamt of a society that had a true revolution of values. He fought and died for these beliefs. It’s such a shame that our nation today continues to execute what the king fought against for the whole of his life. Though some of his dreams like the breaking of racial barriers have been realized, we are still a long way from where we are supposed to be. Unless we get a new brand of leaders it will be hard for us to realize the remaining part of his dreams both in America and the whole world as a whole.
Martin Luther. Letter From a Birmingham Jail. 1963. Web.