By David Joseph Kapito
LILONGWE, Malawi – On this Martin Luther King Day, the civil rights leader’s non-violent campaign reflects a lot on how the present generation can solve problems.
Much can be learned from King, an outspoken activist for human rights. His philosophy – using non-violent action to solve problems – rescues individuals from dangerous situations and can prevent the loss of life and property. It can also prevent hatred and create room for negotiation and the accomplishment of justice in a good way.
Non-violent action protects individuals from loss of life because there is an absence of tension between those whose rights are infringed and the law enforcers. Police seem to rarely use teargas or rubber bullets in situations when demonstrations are peaceful.
In non-violent actions when property is not damaged and innocents are safe from harm, the protesters’ concerns tends to be well heard or perceived.
In a violent situation, however, the havoc seems to attract more attention than the matter at hand, leaving the method of protest more important than the message.
In his Six Principles of Non-Violence, King taught that non-violent action seeks to end evil, not the person doing it. He also taught that nonviolence resists violence against the spirit as well as the body, that non-violent love is “spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.”
Non-violent action creates a path for good interactions between individuals in the future even if there had been tension in the past, because there is room for understanding. That means there can be negotiation and reunion after havoc and that justice can be attained in a good way rather than with bloodshed.
Youth today must prevent the use of violence as a tool to solve problems. A lot of lives have been lost worldwide in violent demonstrations on issues that could have been worked out through negotiation or mutual understanding.
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