This is the day we commemorate the short life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While he is adored and respected today, when he was alive he was feared and hated because he was working for radical change. He called for people to alter the structure of society, and to do so would require individuals to change from the inside.
“We have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights, an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society.”
The call for Change
The message he brought to the world, and to the cause he championed, was far larger than segregation. He worked for justice, equality and peace. He opposed militarism and violence of any kind, yet he believed it takes action – nonviolent action – to bring about change.
He believed that each individual should be judged by their character, not by their race, social position or power.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Equality Inside and Outside
His message is a call for each individual to work for equality in the world. It is also a call to work for a sense of equality inside yourself. If you believe that you are better than others, you are wrong. If you believe that you are less than others, you are wrong. You must believe that you are a good human being, with normal shortcomings, for you to believe in equality. It is not about talent or intelligence or social standing. It embraces the idea that each human being is equal from birth.
Many children are not treated with respect and kindness. They are not taught that they are good and equal to all. They are taught by the words and actions of their caretakers, that they are bad. The seeds of inequality are sown early, and from these can sprout anger, judgment, and even prejudice.
From these beginnings the Harsh Inner Critic comes into existence. It is that part of you that believes you are bad. On the outside you may act as if you don’t believe it, but inside you feel like you are a bad person.
You treat yourself with criticism, hostility and even hate. You believe that nothing you do is ever good enough. You take on yourself the guilt of the world, as if you have created the injustice in the world. You are unable to see yourself as only a part of any difficulty. You believe you are the cause.
You believe that if you have any needs or desires you have failed, and that you do not deserve anything good in your life. Those thoughts make it hard to have compassion for yourself and for others. Outwardly, you may help others, but inside there is pain from your unmet needs.
It is possible to heal and change this internal oppression and prejudice, this feeling that you are not as good as others. It takes time, hard work and courage. You must be ready and willing to continue working, even in the face of oppression and opposition.
The Harsh Inner Critic does not give way easily but progress can/does happen. Change can and does happen.
Work not time
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., knew that time alone will not change this oppression, but hard work, dedication and help will. This is true in society and inside yourself.
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
Together, we can help you change and heal the hurt inside. Call me at (919) 881-2001