Some years ago a famous novelist died. Among his papers was found a list of suggested plots for future stories, the most prominently underscored being this one: “A widely separated family inherits a house in which they have to live together.” This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a large house, a great “world house” in which we have to live together-black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu-a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.
So begins an essay, a chapter from the book ~ Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King, Jr. that was posted by the Fellowship of Reconciliation following the events of 9-11.
Summarizing the essay, the FOR wrote:
In “The World House,” Dr. King calls us to: 1) transcend tribe, race, class, nation, and religion to embrace the vision of a World House; 2) eradicate at home and globally the Triple Evils of racism, poverty, and militarism; 3) curb excessive materialism and shift from a “thing”-oriented society to a “people”-oriented society; and 4) resist social injustice and resolve conflicts in the spirit of love embodied in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. He advocates a Marshall Plan to eradicate global poverty, a living wage, and a guaranteed minimum annual income for every American family. He urges the United Nations to experiment with the use of nonviolent direct action in international conflicts. The final paragraph warns of the “fierce urgency of now” and cautions that this may be the last chance to choose between chaos and community.
The FOR wrote that when Dr. King was addressing the conditions that breed Communism, we might today use the words, “terrorism” or “religious fanaticism.” I would also venture to say that when Dr, King writes of the racism of the former apartheid of South Africa that we today might think of the new apartheid of the discrimination and oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel. (See here and here.) I believe that, according to this essay, Dr. King would be a proponent of CODEPINK and its campaigns for freedom and human rights for Palestinians and to Bring Our War $$ Home .
Dr. King’s life and efforts may have come out of and be a part of Black History, but many of his words hold for today and can even point us to the future. Read the full introduction and complete essay here.
Along with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I Declare World Peace.