Did you know that Dr. Martin Luther King asked his followers to take a pledge of non-violence and to follow 5 core principles of non-violence?
Many of them had faced prejudice and persecution most of their lives, but they agreed to govern their lives with love, to love even their enemies, and to give service to others.
No wonder they were successful!
- As you prepare to march meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
- Remember the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation – not victory.
- Walk and talk in the manner of love; for God is love.
- Pray daily to be used by God that all men and women might be free.
- Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all might be free.
- Observe with friend and foes the ordinary rules of courtesy.
- Perform regular service for others and the world.
- Refrain from violence of fist, tongue and heart.
- Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
- Follow the directions of the movement leaders and of the captains on demonstrations.
The Five Principles of Nonviolence
- Non-violent resistance is not a method for cowards. It does resist. The nonviolent resister is just as strongly opposed to the evil against which he protests, as is the person who uses violence. His method is passive or nonaggressive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent, but his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade the opponent that he is mistaken. This method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually; it is nonaggressive physically but dynamically aggressive spiritually.
- Nonviolent resistance does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. The nonviolent resister must often express his protest through noncooperation but he realizes that noncooperation is not the ends itself; it is merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent.
- The attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who are caught in those forces. It is a struggle between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.
- Nonviolent resistance avoids not only external physical violence, but also internal violence of spirit. At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
- Nonviolence is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. It is the deep faith in the future that allows a nonviolent resister to accept suffering without retaliation. The nonviolent resister knows that in his struggle for justice, he has a cosmic companionship.