Sunday, September 02, 2007

Thanks for spurning Easy Street

On 4th April 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was already a world famous Nobel Prize winner when he delivered an important speech at Riverside Church, New York City. Rather than resting on his laurels, Dr. King spoke out - "A time comes when silence is betrayal."

He spoke about war and violence and the need to work for a better world. Forty years later his words still resonate; the same violence continues, fueled by greed and ignorance. (A year after this speech, Dr. King was murdered).

"We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."

Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence
full text and audio at: