Judging from the address I wrote inside its cover, it must’ve been about 30 years ago that one day I wandered into a bookstore and purchased “Strength to Love” by Martin Luther King Jr. I don’t why. Maybe it was my need that day for spiritual growth and fulfillment. Maybe it was a search for inspiration and truth from someone I knew I could trust, having read his autobiography twice as a youngster. At the same time, maybe I wanted to gain more
insight about the man. Not only did I read the book, I did something uncharacteristic of me. I read the whole book in one afternoon.
What better day is there than the day that celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. to revisit his book “Strength to Love”?
Here’s a quote from the chapter I chose to reread. Chapter (or in this case sermon) IV titled, Love in action:
“One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying. A persistent schizophrenia leaves so many of us tragically divided against ourselves. On the one hand, we proudly profess certain sublime and noble principles, but on the other hand, we sadly practise the very antithesis of these principles. How often are our lives characterised by a high blood pressure of creeds and an anaemia of deeds! We talk eloquently about our commitment to the principles of Christianity, and yet our lives are saturated with the practices of paganism. We proclaim our devotion to democracy, but we sadly practise the very opposite of the democratic creed. We talk passionately about peace, and at the same time we assiduously prepare for war. We make our fervent pleas for the high road of justice, and then we tread unflinchingly the low road of injustice. This strange dichotomy, this agonising gulf between the ought and the is, represents the tragic theme of man’s earthly pilgrimage.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love