In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, senior Victoria Gorum gave a reflection in Chapel that focused on a few of her favorite quotes by the civil rights leader. Here, we share her reflection with you:
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
Darkness and hatred come in many forms. Nowadays, it seems to manifest itself as an automatic distaste toward people who don't agree with our opinions. People are so quick to judge and insult another person for not sharing their views, then pretend not to understand why the walls between us only grow ever higher. Perhaps if we treated them with kindness and understanding, people will be more willing to listen, and together we can work to find the capital-t Truth, whatever that might be.
"Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope."
It is 2016. Hate crimes against racial, religious, and LGBTQ people are on the rise. School shootings are all too frequent. Sexual assault cases are being swept under the rug. Forty-nine people died in the Orlando nightclub shooting, and it has only been a few months since Freddie Gray received injuries to his neck and spine in police custody, leading to his death, sparking riots in Baltimore. It's 2017. People are starting to revive the discussion on religious tolerance. The Women's March is broadcast across America, and the MeToo movement is starting to gain traction. School shootings are still out of control, but people are beginning to discuss police brutality openly and are sharing their experiences as African-Americans in the United States. It's 2018. We have the first Muslim woman elected to Congress. Teenagers across the country march for the Save our Lives movement. Gun control is one of the hottest topics of the year. It's 2019, and I remain hopeful.
Finally, my favorite quote, "I have a Dream."
I still have a dream that one day our society will love the members of the opposite political party for their different perspectives on how our society should be run, and that we will love the immigrants for what they bring to our country, and that we will one day live in a society where we loved the perpetrator of the next Parkland shooting. I have a dream, where one day, we won't have to worry about school shootings at all. I have a dream that we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, Free at last, thank God a-mighty, We are free at last."