I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, 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.” -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Unless you don’t do the whole Facebook thing, or you don’t watch the news, you’ve seen or heard about this quote. Lots of hullaballoo about it. Did MLK say it? Yes. No. On and on. A little research would solve this whole dilemma, but it seems no one knows how to do it.
But I did. Because I used it on a posting and someone jumped on it and told me it was mis-attributed. So I checked. Which I should have done in the first place. Silly me. Expecting the people who FB to be concerned about correct.
And I discovered that it all depends on where you put the quotation marks.
Seems the first sentence was written by a FBer (I can’t track down the true identity for certain and I don’t care enough at this point to pursue it any further) and the rest was, indeed by Dr. King. The passage comes from his 1963 book Strength to Love:
Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, 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. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. So when Jesus says "Love your enemies," he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition. ... The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
So why am I coming out of my long silence to write about something trivial like this?
It’s not to preach the importance of proper punctuation, although that is important.
It’s not to preach the importance of checking something out before you say it, although that, too, is important.
It’s not even to comment on Dr. King’s quote, although it is a powerful and profound sentiment.
It’s to remind folks that I am NEVER wrong! After I posted the first quote and was questioned about it, I did my research and went back and explained where my mistake was. THEN this morning some little chit comes on and says I am still wrong and that there was a news story and everything saying the whole thing was made up.
I wanted to go smack her for being stupid. Obviously she didn’t really listen to the whole story (I have no illusions that she READ it anywhere!). And if she read my initial response she would have seen the correction and source information. But noooo-ooooo. It’s much more fun to jump on the bandwagon and say what everyone else says, and then feel all superior and smart.
(Note to anyone who is reading this…..I am just having a little fun at some nameless gal’s expense. But remember, I am NEVER wrong! Even when I spend half of this blog talking about the initial mistake I made!)