Although Dr. Martin Luther King penned these words over 40 years ago, we are still asking this question—where do we go from here: community or chaos? Dr. King had a vision of the Beloved Community, one in which people lived together under the government of love. This love transcended governmental laws, race, gender and class. Without love as the governing principle, the destination for humanity would be chaotic. In our world now, it seems like we have chosen the direction of chaos. We are still challenged with violence in our communities and hatred. Believe it or not, even in the absence of Jim Crow Laws, we are still battling racism in all forms. Where do we go from here?
Relying on the principles of love, Jesus interjected this helpful guiding principle: “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” Luke 6:31. If we obeyed the Golden Rule, we would fulfill the vision of the Beloved Community. Many people have found it easier to do to others as they have done to them. If we want to live in community, we must respond to those who hurt us in love. This means that we must forgive and set an example what it means to act in love. What would we have others do to us? We would have others to forgive us. Many of us are going to do something to hurt someone else.
None of us are perfect. We would have others help us when we are in need. We should not permit how someone else treats us or how he or she looks to prevent us from helping them. We would have others encourage us, and to lift us up. Too many people, walk around with jealous, envious spirits. As a result, we meet the accomplishments of others with disdain in our hearts—rather than with encouragement and affirmation.
Where do we go from here? If we want to go to the place where there is unity and harmony, we must do unto others as we would have them do unto us. The ‘others’ are not people who necessarily look like us or people who like us or people who agree with us. They are from all walks of humanity. They are Democrats, Republicans, LGBTQ, Africans, Latinos, African Americans, Catholics, Islamic, and even children. They are the others who make up the entire community. When we treat them the way we would want to be treated, we will put an end to much of the chaos which plagues and divides our community. When we do to others as we would have them do to us, we are acting with the faith and grace of God.
This is what Dr. King preached—love—and it is what Jesus lived and taught us. It is up to us to decide, where do we go from here—chaos or community.