Six Principles of Nonviolence

Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._Montgomery_arrest_1958

by Martin Luther King, Jr.

1) Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.

It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.

2) Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.

The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.

3) Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.

Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims, and not evil people. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil, not people.

4) Nonviolence holds that suffering educates and reforms.

5) Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.

Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.
Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.
Nonviolent love gives willingly, knowing that the return might be hostility.
Nonviolent love is active, not passive.
Nonviolent love is unending in its ability to forgive in order to restore community.
Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater.
Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves.
Love restores community and resists injustice.
Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated.

6) Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.

The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.
Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice.

For additional material on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Principles of Nonviolence, see Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story.

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