"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Power. A word from which many meanings derive. To each
individual, it means something distinct and it is how one uses their
power that makes up who they are. Power does not come from the barrel of
a gun. A gun can do nothing without someone there to pull the trigger.
The power to take a life rests within the person, the gun simply serving
as their tool. When groups protesting for a cause they believe in use
violent tactics, do they ever accomplish anything? When we kill , what
do we achieve? To say that power lies in the barrel of a gun is to say
that the most effective way to get what we want, or what we feel we
deserve is to murder. It is only those with no faith in their dreams, or
belief in themselves who could make such a statement.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "If a man hasn’t found
something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live." A leader in the Black
community and the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, King’s
accomplishment of attaining civil rights for Blacks was a great one, but
the road to achievement was long and full of sacrifices. It was a time
when Blacks had no rights and most of them accepted this as the way it
was and no one could do anything about it. Most of them, but not King.
When the police arrested a black woman for sitting in the front of the
bus and refusing to give up her seat to a white woman, King led a
committee that organized a boycott of buses. The results were that on
April 23, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled that "segregation in public
transportation is unconstitutional" and that South Carolina as well as
12 other states must remove the "whites only" signs that hung in the
front of the buses. This was just the beginning, he vowed to continue
his fight using "passive resistance and the weapon of love". He helped
establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and became its
first president. Then in 1957, King met with Vice-president Nixon in
Washington to "discuss racial problems
. He went on to lead protests, demonstrations and marches, making the
non-violent resistance stronger than it had ever been before. He
succeeded in making people aware that every human being is born equal
and that no one should be denied his civil rights.
Martin Luther King had a dream and he knew that there was only
one way to make it come true, to wake up and to take action. He was a
true example of someone putting their power to good use. He started his
life with a disadvantage, he was hated because of the color of his skin,
but he did not let that stop him. He was arrested, thrown in jail,
stabbed, stoned, he even had his home bombed. Through it all, he refused
to give up, he had found a cause worth dying for and he did. He was
murdered on the night of April 4, 1968. People tried to use their power
to stop him and his fight. In the end, they may have succeeded in
killing its leader, but the battle against racism lived on. Looking
back, people say that Martin Luther King Jr. was a very powerful man. I
have never heard anyone say his attackers or his murderers had.
"I am indeed, a practical dreamer. My dreams are not airy nothings. I
want to convert my dreams into realities, as far as possible."
-Mohandas K. Gandhi
Mahatma is the name the people of India gave to Mohandas
Karamchand Gandhi. The meaning is Great Soul, and they considered him as
the father of their nation. He named his autobiography, "The story of My
Experiments With Truth." That was, after all, what his life was about:
the truth and his search to find it. He was against violence in any
form, he felt there existed better methods of accomplishing things, and
he proved to be successful. he made up his won technique for social
action that he called satyagraha, "non-violent resistance to injustice
and wrong." Gandhi’s actions were guided by his philosophy that the way
a person behaves is more important than what he achieves.
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Pacifism, Nonviolence, Community organizing, Counterculture of the 1960s, Gandhism, Satyagraha, Mahatma Gandhi, Nonviolent resistance, Martin Luther King, Jr., Peace, Syria, Salt March
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