Commenting on MLK Jr’s approach, Harding provided inspiration and guidance on “Living into a more perfect union:”
…For instance, everyone near him knew that he took very seriously this traditional, beautiful terminology when he said that what he was seeking was not simply equality or rights, what he was seeking was the creation of “the beloved community.” He saw everything that crushed against our best human development and our best communal development, like segregation, like white supremacy. When he moved to break down those laws, those practices, he was doing it not simply as an act of civil action, but a deep spiritual responsibility. People like Jimmy Baldwin and others, Malcolm for a certain time, couldn’t imagine how Martin could see those possibilities. But I think he was seeing it because he was looking with an eye that was deeply filled by love and compassion and that eye opens us up to see many things that might otherwise be missed.”
How might encountering our societal injustices and inequities today with an eye of love and compassion open us to seeing more fully the humanity of each and every human being, the elements within institutions that might be preserved, those that need to be imagined anew, and create an ethos to support and live the beloved community? What practices, conversations, teachings, dialogues, policies, laws, acknowledgments might help us in advancing a more perfect union for our time? I watched the documentary Good Trouble, about U.S. Representative John Lewis today and it was deeply inspiring! He, too, lived fearlessly with a nonviolent approach to social change. This sagacious leader asks that we “put on our marching shoes,” “vote;” and, echoing and invoking sentiments of the beloved community, he proclaims: “We’re one people, one family. We become the essence of the beloved community.”
It seems to me that we are being led in a deeper, more profound and responsible way to be and create spaces of nurturance, of honor, of Life...