Tag Archives: Martin Luther King Jr

Intent of the Day: Believe in Better

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It’s wild. 54 years since it’s original publication, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s words spoken in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech are not only reminders of a rocky past, but also a reminder not to repeat the same mistakes in the future. We wish that 54 years later, racism was a concept taught to our children only as a part of history, but they unfortunately learn about it from our headlines, from their own lives, from actions taking place in every country including this one.

Our intent today is to, like Dr. King Jr, believe in better. Our hope is that you will too and that your believe will spark you to action. Our hope is that you would believe in kindness and in gentleness, that you would believe in forgiveness and grace. Our hope is that you would believe in your fellow human, that you would see them as a whole person and that you would seek to lift others up rather than tear them down.

We have no better words to express our intent than the following: Continue reading

I Have A Dream: The MLK Speech That Almost Wasn’t

He volunteered to speak last.
He promised to keep his words to 4 minutes.
He had no plans on talking about his dreams.
Martin Luther King Jr still managed to change history that August day in 1963 as more than 250,000 protesters gathered for the March on Washington.

Today we celebrate all he did and continues to do through the power of words, courage and presence. The History Channel shared this amazing video about the man and the dream:

The Fight for Freedom (Quotes From the Greats)

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It was over this last holiday season that a media giant like Sony had to seriously consider pulling a new film as a result of threats against theaters showing “The Interview” and movie-goers seeing it. Why the threats? Because it depicted the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Many had things to say about the situation- was is wise to safe-guard human life by simply withdrawing a film? Was it an act of cowardice to cave to the demands of terrorists? Strong language either way and you could argue both points. Who would’ve expected that a Seth Rogen and James Franco movie would be something having to be discussed by the President and his cabinet?

Now, only a day ago, it is believed that militant extremists are responsible for entering the French offices belonging to cartoonists of the renown satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo, gunning down 12. The outpouring today has reflected not only grief over the loss of dear human life, but on something even greater- the attack on freedom of human expression. Cartoonists all over the globe released tributes to their fallen artists, one citing humor as a dangerous profession, but it’s more than just humor. It is our words, our freedom to feel and create some to explain what is going on in our heads and our hearts.

Today we share words of freedom and liberty from those who have and are still fighting for it in so many ways in every corner of the globe.

Continue reading

Peace and Love: Quotes About Change

Again the US is buzzing with thoughts on the latest verdict from Ferguson, MO.
What is freedom? What is reality for young men growing up in this country?
What is justice? What honestly needs change?
Speaking up about change is hard work but arguably one of the few kinds of work that really matter. Continue reading

10 Inspiring Quotes for Labor Day!

Faces from the St Patricks Day ParadeToday is the day we stay home from the office, enjoy the company of our loved ones, and pay tribute to the incredible work people throughout this country do every day. Many in our communities won’t even be resting from work today – the bus drivers, the janitors, the supermarket cashiers, and many others. Today is for them, and for you, and for everyone who works so hard to keep this country going.

Here are 10 amazing quotes on the virtue of work and the real meaning of labor:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

~Confucius

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Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

~Theodore Roosevelt

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All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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All things are difficult before they are easy.

~Thomas Fuller

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Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.

~Albert Camus

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Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.

~Rumi

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The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first.

~Ginger Rogers

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To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.

~Pearl S. Buck

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No one can arrive from being talented alone, work transforms talent into genius.

~Anna Pavlova

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The greatest teacher I know is the job itself.

~James Cash Penney

President Obama Reflects on the 50 Year Anniversary of MLK Jr’s Legendary Speech

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech that would reverberate in our memories for decades to come. Today, President Obama and other leaders convene in Washington to pay tribute to the remarkable man and his timeless message:

Will the Supreme Court’s Decision on the Voting Rights Act Undermine Civil Rights?

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 2.00.41 PMToday the Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 vote to eliminate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, one of the most important civil rights laws of the 1960s. The Act essentially delineated the parts of the country that must have their voting laws overseen by the federal government – an attempt to prevent the most racially-discriminatory states from instating voting regulations that would further disenfranchise minority populations.

The 5 votes that won the ruling argued that such singling-out of certain parts of the country was unconstitutional and unnecessary in a greatly changed United States. As reported by Huffington Post, Chief Justice John Roberts refers to “current conditions” as evidence of the now-obsolete nature of the Voting Rights Act:

Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions…

There is no doubt that these improvements are in large part because of the Voting Rights Act. The Act has proved immensely successful at redressing racial discrimination and integrating the voting process.

Thus in the same breath, Roberts calls the Act obsolete, but also admits to its effectiveness at changing policies and attitudes over the years. The question becomes, then, have we come far enough in the pursuit of racial equality that such measures are no longer necessary? Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights leader and former chairman of SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), argues otherwise. In his opinion, the Supreme Court has “put a dagger in the heart of the Voting Rights Act” and undermined the efforts of civil rights activists who helped get it passed.

What are your thoughts on today’s Supreme Court ruling? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!
Photo credit: Unknown

Meditate Your Way Through Anger

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 11.22.16 PMAnger can be an effective expression of passion for justice and fairness, for basic rightness, for what is appropriate and humane. But anger can also be like a single match that can burn an entire forest, causing tremendous damage and hurt. It causes wars, leads to greed and self-deception. The fallout can be huge and, invariably, we have no control over the repercussions.

There is a lot of anger flying around right now with political warring over guns, economic cut backs, and the continuing job crisis. But we needn’t let anger rule our system, as seen in Nelson Mandela’s response to Bill Clinton soon after Mandela’s release. Clinton asked him if he was angry the day he walked away from twenty-seven years in jail. “Surely,” Clinton said, “You must have felt some anger?” Mandela agreed that, yes, alongside the joy of being free, he had also felt great anger. “But,” he said, “I valued my freedom more, and I knew that if I expressed my anger I would still be a prisoner.”

Although we may have a right to be angry, retaliation just gets us into further negativity. For Mandela, as for all of us, getting angry is playing the same game, and results in the catchphrase, ‘two wrongs don’t make a right.’

As Michael Beckwith says in our book, Be the Change: “Rev James Lawson, who was a cohort of Dr. Martin Luther King, shared with me an experience when he and Dr. King were sitting in an auditorium and a man came up and said to Dr. King, ‘Are you MLK Jr.?’ When he said yes the man spat on him. Dr. King took a handkerchief, took the spittle off of his suit, and handed it back to the man saying, ‘I think this belongs to you.’ He didn’t hit the man, he didn’t cuss the man out, he didn’t say how dare you, he had this ability to just be in the moment.” Or, psychotherapist Deepesh Faucheaux says, Ducks don’t do anger. Ducks fight over a piece of bread, and then they just swim away.

In its passion, anger pushes away, condemns, and makes everything wrong except itself. Our heart goes out of reach, and we lose touch with our feelings. There’s no compromise, no chance for dialogue, just I am right and you are wrong. And yet we are the ones who suffer the most, particularly from the affects of anger within our own minds, hearts, and bodies.

Trying to eradicate anger is like trying to box with our own shadow: it doesn’t work. Getting rid of it implies either expressing it and creating untold emotional damage, denying its existence, or repressing it until it erupts at a later time. Making friends with anger is essential. This is growing roses out of rotting compost, transforming fire into constructive action, using the passion but without the destruction.

We need to go beneath the anger to see what hurt, longing, or fear is trying to make itself heard. It is often a big cry for love, as we have lost our connectedness with each other and are trying to find a way to reconnect. Or there can be feelings of rejection, grief, or loneliness. So if we repress anger or pretend it isn’t there then all these other feelings get repressed and ignored as well.

By naming and recognizing the many faces of anger, we can stay present with it as it arises, keeping the heart open, breathing, watching emotions come up and pass through. Meditation is the best way to do this as it creates the space to step back from the passion, breathe, and objectively see what is at the root of the feeling. Often we realize it has little to do with another person but more to do with our expectations and needs.

Meditation not only invites us to witness anger, but also to get to know and make friends with ourselves. It gives us a midpoint between expressing anger and repressing it, a place where we can be aware of our feelings and not be swept away by them. Meditation is not going to make all our challenges go away but it does enable us to rest in an inclusive acceptance of who we are.

* * *

Join our Be The Change Meditate e-Conference that will uplift and inspire you. 30 eclectic meditation teachers, including Marianne Williamson, Congressman Tim Ryan, author of Mindful Nation, Sharon Salzberg, Robert Thurman, Gangaji, Joan Borysenko, Seane Corn, neuroscientist Richie Davidson who proves how meditation affects the brain, Roshi Joan Halifax, Tara Stiles, and us, Ed and Deb Shapiro, authors of the conference companion book, BE THE CHANGE: How Meditation Can Transform You and The World. Expect your life to never be the same again!

For more information: www.edanddebshapiro.com

Photo credit: Deiby (Flickr)

Drew Dellinger Says Thank You to Canada




Drew Dellinger Thanks Canada During his Planetize the Movement Canada Tour, March 2010


During his ‘13 gigs in 7 days’ Canada Tour, Drew Dellinger enthusiastically thanked Canada and Canadians for their historical and present day role in the Justice Movement.

At the Orillia, Ontario event, Drew passionately read the beginning of  Martin Luther King Jr’s first CBC Massey lecture from the posthumous book collection The Trumpet of Consciousness.

Drew proceeded to weave this into a personal address to Canada:

“I want to join with Dr. King in thanking Canada for being a beacon of freedom and justice at a time when the United States was living under a regime of systemic racial tyranny. And so, it is a part of that progressive justice tradition that I think Canada has exemplified; in some ways much more than the United States.

And so I want to thank you for that. And I believe Canada has a significant role to play as we build a planetary community, to put justice at the center; and it is based on ecological sustainability. So, Canada has a role to play. We all have a role to play. So, let’s Planetize the Movement".

Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy refers to Drew Dellinger as ‘a national treasure…’ and after a unique 7 day-13 event- Canadian PTM immersion, I can confidently state that Drew Dellinger is a North American treasure as well.

Check out the powerful and important works of Drew Dellinger, including his poetry book ‘love letter to the milky way’ at www.drewdellinger.org and www.planetizethemovement.org

–Laura-May

www.theredtelephonebooth.com

 

 

 

 

 

Drew Dellinger Says Thank You to Canada











Drew Dellinger Thanks Canada During his Planetize the Movement Canada Tour, March 2010


During his ‘13 gigs in 7 days’ Canada Tour, Drew Dellinger enthusiastically thanked Canada and Canadians for their historical and present day role in the Justice Movement.

At the Orillia, Ontario event, Drew passionately read the beginning of  Martin Luther King Jr’s first Massey lecture from the posthumous book collection The Trumpet of Consciousness.

Drew proceeded to weave this into a personal address to Canada:

“I want to join with Dr. King in thanking Canada for being a beacon of freedom and justice at a time when the United States was living under a regime of systemic racial tyranny. And so, it is a part of that progressive justice tradition that I think Canada has exemplified; in some ways much more than the United States.

And so I want to thank you for that. And I believe Canada has a significant role to play as we build a planetary community, to put justice at the center; and it is based on ecological sustainability. So, Canada has a role to play. We all have a role to play. So, let’s Planetize the Movement".

Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy refers to Drew Dellinger as ‘a national treasure…’ and after a unique 7 day-13 event- Canadian PTM immersion, I can confidently state that Drew Dellinger is a North American treasure as well.

–Laura-May

 

 

 

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