JVonick XC Blog MLK



“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”


Everyone knows that Martin Luther King Jr. is the definition of a hero and leader. Similar to another famous hero, Gandhi, King led by example, but even saying that is an understatement. When most people are angry or sad, they let the anger get the best of them and negatively impact their actions. King responded to the social injustice by being peaceful and nonviolent in his actions. That’s why this quote is so fitting: it’s obvious that nonviolence has to avoid violent actions, but it includes verbal abuse and, as he says “spiritual” abuse.

Unfortunately, this quote and meaning hasn’t had the impact he would have wanted. There are definitely people in this world that have tried problem solving by peace, whether it’s from his quote or some other way, and one example is Nelson Mandela. Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa after spending 27 years in prison. Mandela and MLK both went against popular opinion and belief (although they were doing the right thing, similar to Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.) The reason why they were unique, however, was because of their attempt to do it nonviolently. They never wanted anyone to act by retaliating, and they were also positive when speaking about others and didn’t try to personally insult anyone.

Nowadays, many people come out against bullying, mentally and physically, and that’s great. But it’s unfortunate that violent mental and physical actions are still the result of anger and sadness. Not saying it’s easy to control yourself, but maybe the whole world needs to hear this quote again to realize that what they say to someone could really hurt them. King’s impact and good for the United States was truly too impactful to understand, and this quote is a good example of that.


I believe MLK’s quote above is from his last speech on April 3rd, 1968 at the Church of God of Christ in Memphis, Tennessee. I got it from http://www.famous-quotes.me/nonviolence-means-avoiding-not-only-external-physical-violence-but-also-internal-violence-of-spirit-you-not-only-refuse-to-shoot-a-man-but-you-refuse-to-hate-him/

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One Comment

  1. Posted January 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing this quote. We often overlook the fact that hating others can be just as detrimental as actively hurting others. It is impossible to come to a compromise or understand each other on a common ground if there is hatred standing in the way.

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