Last summer I visited Ebenezer Baptist Church, the place where Martin Luther King Jr. birthed the modern civil rights movement. I came away from my experience marveling at the power of one man's vision to transform our nation's consciousness. Where does the power to confront entrenched, institutionalized hatred originate?
Power in the Midst of Crisis
Sociologically speaking, human beings, when in crisis, look to authoritative leaders to save them. Our biology tells us to give up our autonomy if our survival is at stake. We must resist this primal urge to abdicate our power to demagogically authority figures.
What Dr. King did so well was to call forth the courage latent within the souls of black Americans to take their destiny into their own hands. Their victory cannot be attributed to skillful leverage of the political or economic power structure. Their triumph bears testimony to the power of the human spirit.
- What are the next steps in our nation's journey towards our mission of "liberty and justice for all?"
- What can we learn from Dr. King's approach to help us realize our national vision?
- What problems can we solve by simply taking back our power, so foolishly invested in autocratic leaders?