“But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win YOU in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.” Those were the words of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. in a sermon titled “Loving your Enemies” delivered Nov. 17,1957, at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, in Montgomery, Ala.
These words linger on my mind as election day approaches and I wonder, in these days of mudslinging, dirt digging and personal attacks, if “Double Victory” is even possible. Will there be a time when I turn on my television and actually enjoy commercials again? Will the blame game ever stop or will the accusation torch just be passed from one administration to the next?
Most of all, I wonder if Dr. King was alive today what he would think of this election. What would he do? What voice would he add to the conversation? He was a man who had a passionate calling for justice and a dedication to “Reconciliation, not victory.” It was a calling that put his life and his family’s life in danger daily, landed him in jail and got him severely beaten numerous times, and it eventually led to his assassination. I wonder if things would be different if Dr. King were alive today, for his story is living proof that one person can make a difference.
I hope and pray that one person will make a difference when elected on Nov. 6 and that his vision will reach beyond just winning votes but, in the years to come, winning hearts of contemporaries, world leaders and the people he has been elected to serve. May our future leaders remember the example of Dr. King and “follow another way,” one which focuses on reconciliation and healing our divided nation so that one day a double victory may be possible.