Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an advocate for nonviolence while facing discrimination and violence against his family and himself as he led many peaceful protests. When we think of the word “nonviolence,” we usually associate the term with not fighting or engaging in violent activities. These are the literal denotations of the word but Dr. King defined the term in six ways through his Six Principles of Nonviolence:
Principle 1: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
Principle 2: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
Principle 3: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.
Principle 4: Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.
Principle 5: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
Principle 6 Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.
Dr. King’s Principles 3 and 5 have impacted my life because I have learned that it means overcoming evil by doing good. Facing the evil of racism inspired me to do good. For example, I organized a charitable volleyball match which raise nearly $1500.00 for a teammate’s sister who was undergoing treatment for Stage 4 cancer. Dr. King’s way of love and nonviolence is the path I have chosen in order to stand up for what I believe in. It is also a path that I believe will have the most positive effect on our society.
Anastasia is currently a senior at McKinley Senior High School and she plans to attend The Ohio State University with a major in Neuroscience.