Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Often quoted misquotes

The following quote made its way around Facebook and twitter yesterday:
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
It turned out not to be attributed to martin Luther King Jr., as it was reported to be. The correct quote from Dr. King is this one:
"For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't murder murder. (Yes) Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth. (That's right) Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate through violence. (All right, That’s right) Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that." -MLK (August 1969)
I just saw a Facebook update from a friend that I believe addresses these quotes. The person stated that according to the Facebook/Twitter/Blog-o-sphere if we asked nicely, Bin Laden would have stopped being a terrorist. It's an interesting reaction to both the events of Sunday night, and the reactions from everyone.

Now we all know that the above quotes (especially the first one) are a very hearts and flowers idealized view of the world. The world we live in today is dark, scary and full of mistrust and conspiracy. The words of Dr. King and the anonymous quotesmith hint at the world that many people would rather live in. A safer, less scary world.

Many people were left conflicted by the death of Osama Bin Laden. The death was necessary. But many believe, myself included, that the celebration wasn't necessary. Be relieved and grateful (and a little happy) that it's over. Mourn those you have lost. And move on. The partying in the streets seems a bit much to me.

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