Meeting Life With Nonviolent Resistance

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. turned the world upside down in the 1960’s with his revolutionary approach to the problem of racial segregation. His method, “nonviolent resistance,” had produced amazing results in India. When King sought to bring a consciousness of the evil of segregation to the minds of the white community, he determined to utilize this method. He said of this approach:

“Christ furnished the spirit and motivation while Gandhi furnished the method.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

King went further, though. He explained that once his followers had a deep understanding of this “political” method for change, nonviolent resistance eventually became a “way of life” for them. 

How could something that was meant to fight off injustice in America become a way of life? Why did this method take such a hold in the lives of King’s followers? Most importantly, why and how can the principles of nonviolent resistance become a way of life for us

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

1:38  Introduction to nonviolent resistance as a ‘way of life’
8:02 Principle 1
10:01  Principle 2
11:23 Principle 3
17:27  Principle 4
19:55  Principle 5
21:11  2 wrong ways of mothering
26:28 Jordan Peterson’s examples
32:48  Agape and Principle 6

Quotes from this episode:

“I stressed that the use of violence in our struggle would be both impractical and immoral. To meet hate with retaliatory hate would do nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“…nonviolence is ultimately a way of life that men live by because of the sheer morality of its claim.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It must be emphasized that nonviolent resistance is not a method for coward; it does resist…This is ultimately the way of the strong man.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr. 

“Someone else’s bad behavior is never an excuse for my bad behavior.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“Things of fundamental importance to people are not secured by reason alone, but have to be purchased with their suffering.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr. 

“Love is…the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” ~M. Scott Peck

“…we are incapable of teaching our children self-discipline unless we ourselves are self-disciplined. It is actually impossible to forsake our own spiritual development in favor of someone else’s.” ~M. Scott Peck

“Children must be shaped and informed, or they cannot thrive. This fact is reflected starkly in their behavior; kids are utterly desperate for attention from both peers and adults because attention, which renders them effective and sophisticated communal players, it vitally necessary.” ~Jordan Peterson

It is an act of responsibility to discipline a child. It is not anger at misbehavior. It is not revenge for a misdeed. It is instead a careful combination of mercy and long-term judgment. Proper discipline requires effort-indeed, is virtually synonymous with effort. It is difficult to pay careful attention to children. It is difficult to figure out what is wrong and what is right and why. It is difficult to formulate just and compassionate strategies of discipline…” ~Jordan Peterson

“Agape is the willingness to go to any length to restore community.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“To the degree that I harm my brother, no matter what he is doing to me, to that extent I am harming myself.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Summary of the 6 Principles:

  1. Physically passive but very mentally, emotionally and spiritually active
  2. Does not defeat or humiliate but seeks to bring redemption and reconciliation in order to create the beloved community
  3. Attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons in order to generate a victory for justice and the forces of light
  4. Willingness to accept suffering without retaliation in order to let suffering educate and transform
  5. Avoids internal violence of the spirit (hatred, resentment, laziness) in order to project the ethic of love to the center of life and meet the other’s “need for belonging to the best in the human family”
  6. Conviction that the universe is on the side of justice

Books from this episode:


Podcasts mentioned in this episode:

Find “Claim Your Blessings” podcast HERE

Find “The Two Great Laws” podcast HERE