Throughout history, there have been instances when civil disobedience resulted in the evolution of societies. In fact, civil protests have brought various issues to the authority’s attention and protested against them. Consequently, civil disobedience and protests result in a victory against the authorities and trigger a sense of heroism. The ideas of the protest are the constituents that make it heroic. In addition, a peaceful protest has also shared the popularity of civil disobedience. A peaceful protest is heroic in that the idea of the hero who is heroic challenges the society. In reference to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, this aspect of society is fully illustrated.
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Martin Luther King was born in the year 1929 in Atlanta. In the year 1948, he acquired a BA degree in the College of Morehouse College. When Martin Luther King turned 35, he was awarded a Nobel peace prize, thus becoming the youngest person to hold this high award. He was the greatest civil rights activist in the world. Martin met his death in the 1968 April 4 through a gunshot, he was assassinated.
Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in a town known as Porbandar, during the reign of the rule of British in India. Gandhi was the son of a prominent senior government officer in the Hindu Bania community. He was the prominent leader of Indian nationalism in British controlled India. Gandhi employed non-violent way of inquiring independence form the British. He inspired movements for non-violence and human rights across the world. Gandhi travelled to London to learn the law in the University of London in the year 1888. He specialized in Indian law. In the year 1893, he travelled to South Africa upon finishing his studies in London. In South Africa, he was involved in the civil rights movement to save the Africans from suffering. During his lifetime, he took a great part of his time in struggling for human and civil rights for the less privileged. Gandhi was assassinated in the year 1948, 30 January during a prayer meeting. According to Martin Luther King’s quote “I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate…who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace, which is the absence of tension to a positive peace, which is the presence of justice”, he tries to give out his bitter remarks about the moderates (King, 2010). He says that he is about to reach the lamentable conclusion that the Negros main stumbling is his pace forward to freedom is not the white councilor but the white reasonable. These tend to be more loyal to order rather than justice. They prefer unconstructive peace that lacks positive peace. He adds that they constantly claim that they agree in the sought goal, but cannot agree with the channel of direct action. They paternalistically think that they are capable of setting another individual’s freedom.
Luther continues that this person dwells in a mythical time concept and regularly gives advice to the Negros to stay calm, and wait till a more suitable time. Luther claims that little thoughtfulness of persons of goodwill is more discouraging compared to total misunderstanding from ill willed people. Little acceptability, he considers it more of an absurd than open rejection. He says that he had wished for the white moderates to recognize that the existence of law and order is for justice to prevail, and if they lose in this mission, they turn out to be the hazardous structured barriers that hunk the flow of social development. He had wished for the white moderates recognize that the current anxiety in the South is an important phase of the evolution from a hateful, negative peace, which Negros have always accepted coldly.
In the other quote, “we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with” (Martin Luther King, 2010) Luther seems to be against the way the Negros aired their grievances. He compares them to the boil that is incurable as far as it is covered up. It has to be uncovered with all its unattractive nature, and discrimination must be uncovered. He sees those people that condemn the actions of the Negros who want justice as being unreasonable. He compares the act as accusing a robbed man because his ownership of the money led to the evil act of stealing.
Regarding his other quote, “We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber” (King, 2010). Luther seems to agree with the government. He also said that “he had wished for the white moderates to abandon the myth with regard to time and the freedom struggle” (King, 2010). He tells about a letter that he received from his white brother in Texas. In the letter, he talks about Christianity. He gives the biblical concept of equality. His brother seems to be religious regarding the way he incorporated the biblical views.
Gandhi was a good quotes composer. His quotes are widely used in the world. One of the quotes is “If by using violence I force the government to repeal the law, I am employing what may be termed body-force. If I do not obey the law and accept the penalty for its breach, I use soul-force. It involves sacrifice of self (Desmond and Ghandi, 2007). In the above quote, he reveals that there is no use of force against the government with someone risking his or her life. He tries to prove the point that there are ways of making your grievances heard without the use of violence. As a human right activist, he treasured life everywhere he went even in South Africa he was saddened when he heard someone died in the arms of the Boers. According to him he valued the law of life making people believe that if someone confronted you with violence you should conquer him with love in the battle.Gandhi believed that the law of love was more useful than the law of destruction because it solved many problems peacefully. Furthermore, this struggle makes someone stronger. Gandhi emphasized that the more he worked with the law of love his life was more delight than ever, it gave him peace and the meaning of the mysterious nature he had no power to describe. The state of being non-violent does not mean that someone should be coward in the heart it means you can be non-violent physically, but not emotionally. Furthermore, the law of non-violence cannot be taught to anyone who fears to die or a powerless person.
“Disobedience to be civil must be sincere, respectful, restrained, never defiant, must be based upon some well-understood principle, must not be capricious and above all, must have no ill-will or hatred behind it” (Desmond and Ghandi, 2007). In this quote, he tries to explain that there is no hope of being disobedient to anyone even the person is taking you for granted. Gandhi believes that life is an aspiration, in addition to this he believes that life is a mission to be perfected in order to strive. To strive for the mission you must respect everyone when in the life journey.Obedience is a state in which someone proves his level of maturity to the society around him or her.
“No man can claim that he is absolutely in the right or that a particular thing is wrong because he thinks so, but it is wrong for him so long as that is his deliberate judgment” (Desmond and Ghandi, 2007). In this quote, he tries to make a statement that nobody is perfect. Gandhi thought that everyone who delivered judgment towards someone’s wrong act delivered it according to his point of view. He further reasoned that people have different ways of thinking and opinions. According to him, he believed that forgiveness was the best way of passing judgments
“What is one man’s food can be another’s poison” (Desmond and Ghandi, 2007) is a conclusive quote by Gandhi ti implies that people are different in whatever they do. This is because everyone has a different way of tackling life. Someone cannot try to copy someone else’s lifestyle because people have different ways of surviving. Most of Gandhi’s quotes mainly emphasize on the basic lifestyle of a man and the way he should live in order to avoid violence (King and Kadir, 2012).
Desmond, T and Ghandi, M.(2007). Peace: The Words and Inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi. Mumbai: Blue Mountain Arts, Inc.
King, M. L. (2010). Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. Washington DC: Beacon Press.
King, M. L., Jr and Kadir, N. (2012). I Have a Dream. New York: Random House Children’s Books.