The Network of Mutuality

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

In a Q & A following her recent speech in Louisville, KY, Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese democracy leader and Nobel Prize winner, said:

You must be able to put yourself in the place of your adversaries. What do you want done to you? What should they want done to themselves? … Non-violence is a good way of making yourself a better person.

In an interview with USA Today, regarding her new novel, The Casual Vacancy, J. K. Rowling said:

In some sense, the whole plot can be summed up with ‘What do we do about Krystal?’ and by extension, ‘What do we do about all those people who are in a poverty trap?’ But for Krystal, it’s more than that, isn’t it? Krystal is dealing with addiction in her family, she’s dealing with decades of increasing poverty in her family with everything that means, and she’s also caught in the crossfire of a local battle because this beautiful West Country town of Pagford is furious that it has jurisdiction over and responsibility for what we call a council estate (low-income public housing). So Krystal is caught up in this local battle, and of course in examining this tiny little local battle I get to explore what I think are fairly universal themes.

I do think the themes in the book do translate across any national border because ultimately we’re talking about our human responsibility, whether you think we should all be entirely self-reliant and people sink or swim, or you think we should be extending a helping hand and whether that should come from government and so on. And these are very contemporary themes in a lot of countries, particularly in the financial mess in which we find ourselves.


I Declare World Peace.




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