Martin Luther King Jr. taught us to attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil. His movement encouraged us to bring our indignation and confrontation to the ideas, the beliefs, the conditions, and the structures of injustice or violence, but to bring our compassion to the people caught in playing out these beliefs and structures.
Arno Michaelis, an ex white power movement organizer, says that his way out of hatred did not come from being screamed at or being told that he was wrong, but through compassion from the people he claimed to hate: “They treated me with kindness when I least deserved it, but when I most needed it.”
Responding with compassion and integrity is difficult when we are faced with violent thoughts and intense emotion. We need training and practice to embody the values of kindness and compassion in these moments.
This edition of Talk It Out Radio offers guidance and practice with several examples. Host Timothy Regan is live on air with listener calls and willingness to practice the skills of empathy together.