Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent civil disobedience movement that helped win India’s independence from England. Gandhi’s mantra, or guiding slogan, was “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. That meant not colluding and obeying oppressive and unjust laws. That meant speaking the truth even when it made others uncomfortable. It meant not being socially proper, but proper towards all human beings – having a strong sense of ethics and connection to all living things.
These aren’t just nice sentiments. If we believe in such a position, we need to fundamentally change the way we live and think. How can we participate in systems based on exploitation, greed, mistreatment of our planet, and of other humans? Living in accordance with what we know to be right isn’t an overnight change, it’s a continual shifting of our actions and our thinking. But we must do it. Here, Grace Lee Boggs talks about our times. Time to move from marching to embodying transformation, from shouting out to action.