In the Wake of Martin Luther King Day
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“The tensions are not between the races, but between the forces of justice and injustice; between the forces of light and darkness.”
– Martin Luther King
Lord, who can be trusted with power,
and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people’s trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.
(A Book of Psalms, translations by Stephen Mitchell)
This is what you should do:
Love the earth and sun and animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people…
reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
dismiss what insults your very soul,
and your flesh shall become a great poem.
~ Walt Whitman ~
(Excert from Preface to 1855 edition, Leaves of Grass)