Over the past few episodes, we have looked all of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s six principles of nonviolence. As we have seen, these principles are not just guidelines for protest, but they also apply to how we live our lives in general and how we approach the various conflicts that we face with others. Just as a review, those six principles are as follows:
1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.
4. Nonviolence holds that voluntary suffering can educate and transform.
5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.
Today, we are going to look at the six steps to beginning and carrying out non-violent action. These are the steps that thousands of King’s followers and others took as they stood up for the freedoms that people of color enjoy today:
Step 1: Gather Information
Learn all you can about the problems you see in your community through the media, social and civic organizations, and by talking to the people involved.
Step 2: Educate Others
Armed with your new knowledge, it is your duty to help those around you, such as your neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers, better understand the problems facing society. Build a team of people devoted to finding solutions. Be sure to include those who will be directly affected by your work.
Step 3: Remain Committed
Accept that you will face many obstacles and challenges as you and your team try to change society. Agree to encourage and inspire one another along the journey.
Step 4: Peacefully Negotiate
Talk with both sides. go to the people in your community who are in trouble and who are deeply hurt by society’s ills. Also go to those people who are contributing to the breakdown of a peaceful society. Use humor, intelligence and grace to lead to solutions that benefit the greater good.
Step 5: Take Action Peacefully
This step is often used when negotiation fails to produce results, or when people need to draw broader attention to a problem. It can include tactics such as peaceful demonstrations, letter-writing, and petition campaigns.
Step 6: Reconcile
Keep all actions and negotiations peaceful and constructive. Agree to disagree with some people and groups as you work to improve society. Show all involved the benefits of change, not what they will give up by changing.
In closing, if God is leading you to engage in the fight for a fairer, more just, and more equal society, please take heed to these principles. And remember to honor God in all of your words and actions.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.