Calm Calamity

Topics: Nonviolence, Martin Luther King, Jr., Southern Christian Leadership Conference Pages: 3 (870 words) Published: September 20, 2013
Calm Calamity
Adding oil to fire will entice the flames to soar higher, exacerbate the beaming heat, and lead to more ashes in the end. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. stresses in his notorious work, “Letter From A Birmingham Jail” that there is a scorching fire aggravated in the midst of Birmingham, an injustice that is pervasive in society that is catching flame to justice everywhere. His motivation for freedom, his passion to heal, and his actions to create change has left a lasting imprint for people—like you and me—to strive for righteousness and justice. When injustice is rampant in society, people must not wait for a miraculous solution but utilize time as a mechanism for constructive change. Dr. King emphasizes that failure to take action against evil is an enemy against justice, noting that “this wait has almost always meant ‘never’”(56). The notion of “waiting” is to act indifferently. It is to stand on the sideline as a bystander, staring at the atrocities taking place on the streets, walking past people crumbled by violence, and allowing the innocent arrested and chained down by the demands of unjust laws. The common notion that “flow of time” will heal a crisis is an illusion. To believe “time” is the source of positive change will inevitably turn a society complacent to the problem at hand. People will be inculcated by a sense of hopelessness and futility, because the conflict will not get better, and the change they anticipated for in due time—but never sought for—will never occur. So time is not the universal medicine for injustice. King stresses “time” is actually neutral. And people are the ones who control the flow of time. If time is used to exacerbate injustice, it will be turned into a destructive fire that will emanate from all directions, burning away everything that is good and righteous. But if time is used constructively, then persistent effort and hard work towards righteousness and love will spark a different fire that will burn...
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