The selection of reading on the discipline of Guidance is taken from the essay “Walk with Freedom” by Martin Luther King Jr. which was published in 1956. The main theme of the essay is, violence is not only impractical but also immoral. Secondly, love of God is the transforming power that can renovate the whole community to new horizons of fair play, good will, and justice. For this reason, King used love as the instrument and weapon to fight against the rulers and authorities who oppressed and condemned African-Americans inhumanely.
King starts his essay with a sentence “This is a spiritual movement”. He believes in love of God and nonviolence. He says that the civil right movement is a “spiritual movement”, because the motivation and strategies for the movement was from the Bible. He also knows that violence cannot demolish the wall of segregation between black and white people. He says that violence will defeat the purpose of the movement. Since retaliation is not a Biblical principle, he affirms that retaliation is impractical and immoral because the sense of violence escalates hate which seeks revenge. In other words, this will be the way for welcoming evil to reside with us.
He further adds we can cut off the chain of hatred and evil through love. He overcomes evil and swallows hate although his house is bombed on 30th January 1956. It could have killed his wife and daughter, but he urges his people not to panic and retaliate against those who bombed the house, because retaliation is not the proper way to overcome evil.
Amid such tragic situation, King maintains his patience and convinces his people that they will confront the problem with love. It shows how mature King was in his spiritual life. Farseeing the possibility of violence, he demonstrates the qualities of self-motivated and farsighted leadership. He quotes from the Bible “He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword,” to encourage his people not to seek any form of violence. Instead, he urges his people to continue to witness others by love, and at the same time, he heartens them to continue to struggle with same zeal for their dignity, justice, and equality. King also values the understanding of his people at that time who displayed their optimum perseverance.
In spite of their struggle and indictment during the Montgomery bus boycott, King upholds each soul of his people to stand firm against prejudice. He states that all African-Americans knew from the beginning of their protest that there would not be freedom without sacrifice. They were determined to triumph over segregation of evil, and they “still hold to this nonviolent attitude, and this primacy of love” (281).
King reveals his dependent spirit on God in this essay. His statement also displays where his strength and wisdom comes from. He asks his people for continual prayer for guidance from God, his justice, and righteousness. He also stresses the need of great deal of encouragement for each other in the movement. Even though, he had five honor degrees, he does not depend on his knowledge and wisdom. He writes that his people and he will confront hate by love alone. Finally, he finishes off his essay with the need of prayer. He only depends on the Lord, so he believes that prayer strengthens each other and heals their heart so they might feel united with people in the nation and also feel the presence of Almighty God. Again, King says that this movement is a spiritual movement.