August 29, 2011 4:24 PM Subscribe
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow (28 comments total)
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Do you lack self confidence
Not sure what you should do after high school
Having trouble finding a nice young man
? Are your friends interested in nothing but scotch, girlie magazines and gin
Ask Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about it. He's got Advice for Living
“Let the man that led the Montgomery boycott lead you into happier living”
From 1957 to 1958, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote an advice column for Ebony magazine. He answered "readers’ questions about marital infidelity, sexuality, birth control and other such matters, while also tackling issues such as capital punishment, atomic weapons testing, and race relations." Here is the complete run of his column, Advice for Living
Does a philosophy of non-violence apply to a friend who hits you over the head with an iron pipe? Yes
. Don't kill him.
"I believe God reveals himself in all religions."
His advice is less than helpful if you are a nice young man looking for a nice young man
Play gospel music, not rock. The two are incompatible. "Rock 'n' roll...so often plunges men's minds into degrading and immoral depths."
Bad temper? "Expel a lower vice by concentrating on a higher virtue."
A running theme in his advice is that when you find yourself in bad circumstances you should focus on changing your character rather than changing the circumstances. For example, what if your racist mother favors your lighter skinned half-siblings?
His answer in full:
You can probably best deal with your problem by beginning with an analysis of self. I know this sounds rather strange to you, since you have already concluded that your mother and half-brothers and sisters are responsible for the problem. But you must honestly ask yourself the question, whether the problem has arisen because of an inferiority complex that you have developed as a result of your complexion. You must be sure that you do not unconsciously develop a bitterness because of your color, and thereby drive persons away from you. Maintain a wholesome attitude at all times and a radiant personality. These qualities, I am convinced, will awaken within those around you a responding attitude of kindness.
This theme sometimes leads to disturbing conclusions. Physically abusive alcoholic husband? "Stay with the situation a little while longer."
His personal advice runs parallel to his political strategy: respond to evil with passive resistance and love. "To return hate for hate does nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe
. Someone must have sense enough and religion enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil."