What Are We Fighting For? Part 9: Love & Power Work Hand-In-Hand

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Power without love is reckless and abusive,
and love without power is sentimental and anemic.

Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


These words of Dr. King make me slow clap inside.

When I think of people who have modeled love that has really changed things, Dr. King is a standard-bearer. He had every reason to hate the people who systematically, and vehemently kept equality out of reach for our fellow humans for generations. Not to mention those who saw it but chose to look the other way.


But anger doesn’t have to turn to hatred. He didn’t resort to name-calling, or humiliating people who didn’t get it.

Instead, he kept holding up the truth. He must’ve had to dig SO DEEP to combine his intellect with his emotions and choose words that inspire people to think differently - to imagine what could be.

Imagine the fortitude it must have taken for him to keep eloquently shedding light on the blatant double standards without a single, “F*** You.” He used his words to build something, like a bricklayer who is building something lasting, one brick at a time.

He tirelessly engaged in conversations that must’ve been so exhausting. And lost his life doing it. Such injustice for someone who fought so hard for justice. What a gut-punch to his life message.

It’s going to take a lot of us using our voices wisely if we want to see a world where systems of injustice no longer oppress people. And as we do that, I hope we can keep talking about what stands in the way of justice and love, rather than thinking we have to choose between them.

Emily SutherlandComment