We look forward to this day in our family, we take the family time (dinner) to do some learning about Dr. Martin Luther King and his values. Last year my daughter was lucky enough to have a teacher at her Middle School who teaches Kingian Nonviolence - in a way that went directly hand in hand with who Franny is as a person, she found this to really ring true with her heart. She asked me to join a monthly parent group which teaches the principles and I can say that it has changed me life as well. I am not far into it yet but the ways of conflict resolution have helped me so much in my home and in my work.
The approach is quite simple, and when you get into it the approach is so well thought out and practical that we can all gain from learning from the ways that Dr. King took to approach nonviolence. I consider myself well educated about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - I've seen countless movies and show's about him but until I learned from my daughters teacher, Mrs. Robin Wildman, about Kingian Nonviolence, I feel I did not know the essence of what he was doing. Now going back to see, listening to stories, I hear the references to the movement.
The Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. To work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the “Six Principles of Nonviolence” and use the Kingian model for social action outlined in the “Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change.”
(taken from the website: www.thekingcenter.org)
The Six principles of Nonviolence will pull you in but it is the six steps to social change that will help you start to use this method for yourself, in your family and in your community. I will take this opportunity today to learn more and try to pass on more of this social change that we all need today, but most importantly - use this method in your day to day life to create social change in your community.
SIX PRINCIPLES OF NONVIOLENCE
Fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence described in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom. The six principles include:
- PRINCIPLE ONE: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.
It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
- PRINCIPLE TWO: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.
The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.
- PRINCIPLE THREE: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people.
Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims and are not evil people.
The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil not people.
- PRINCIPLE FOUR: Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.
Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.
Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.
- PRINCIPLE FIVE: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.
Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.
- PRINCIPLE SIX: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.
The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.
Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice.
The Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change are based on Dr. King's nonviolent campaigns and teachings that emphasize love in action. Dr. King's philosophy of nonviolence, as reviewed in the Six Principles of Nonviolence, guide these steps for social and interpersonal change.
- INFORMATION GATHERING:To understand and articulate an issue, problem or injustice facing a person, community, or institution you must do research. You must investigate and gather all vital information from all sides of the argument or issue so as to increase your understanding of the problem. You must become an expert on your opponent's position.
- EDUCATION:It is essential to inform others, including your opposition, about your issue. This minimizes misunderstandings and gains you support and sympathy.
- PERSONAL COMMITMENT:Daily check and affirm your faith in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. Eliminate hidden motives and prepare yourself to accept suffering, if necessary, in your work for justice.
- DISCUSSION/NEGOTIATION:Using grace, humor and intelligence, confront the other party with a list of injustices and a plan for addressing and resolving these injustices. Look for what is positive in every action and statement the opposition makes. Do not seek to humiliate the opponent but to call forth the good in the opponent.
- DIRECT ACTION: These are actions taken when the opponent is unwilling to enter into, or remain in, discussion/negotiation. These actions impose a "creative tension" into the conflict, supplying moral pressure on your opponent to work with you in resolving the injustice.
- RECONCILIATION:Nonviolence seeks friendship and understanding with the opponent. Nonviolence does not seek to defeat the opponent. Nonviolence is directed against evil systems, forces, oppressive policies, unjust acts, but not against persons. Through reasoned compromise, both sides resolve the injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step close to the 'Beloved Community.'
All of this information is from the website: www.thekingcenter.org - and don't miss reading about The Beloved Community! And remember it is possible for your schools to teach this as a grounding principle - it takes a dedicated teacher, one who will not waver. We are so lucky to have this taught in our school in our area, it is solely the work on ONE teacher, it's taken her ten years to work on bringing this approach throughout our schools, how lucky are we!