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In my last post I discussed the happiness decision, or the power to make a decision to turn your mind towards positive things even when you don’t feel happy.  Lately, I’ve also been pondering the question of how do you confront the darkness without becoming dark.  I was thinking specifically of two people I really admire Mahatma Gandhi and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.  Many people focus on them almost as heroes or saints, but they were just human beings.  Yes, they wrote and spoke of great things, but they laughed, they cried, they had faults.  They were human.

They laughed and gathered and consulted with the people around them.  They made the “happiness decision” in countless ways.  I think this is a forgotten reason for why Gandhi and King were able to lead these social movements.  I googled, “Martin Luther King, Jr. and happiness” and stumbled upon these great quotes gathered by goodreads.  They really helped to power my morning and I want to share a few with you:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his I Have a Dream Speech at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. 08/28/1963 ARC Identifier 542069 / Local Identifier 306-SSM-4D(107)16

Part of what I think made Martin Luther King Jr. a great leader was his capacity for joy and reaching for people.   From the National Archves.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his I Have a Dream Speech at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. 08/28/1963
ARC Identifier 542069 / Local Identifier 306-SSM-4D(107)16

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from “Loving Your Enemies”)”
Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

I hope this all helps.  Enjoy your mind.  Share your heart.  Thanks for reading.

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