This afternoon, I had to quickly pull the car over to the curb.  I just could not drive and listen attentively at the same time.  What I was listening to was a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr  reading from “The World House” chapter of his 1967 book “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community”.

So here I am, just returned home, writing this not as a review, or critique, or sales pitch.  Rather to offer to FDL members what I believe are  very powerful words on how we can view ourselves, which really includes  “the other”, in difficult times and circumstances that often focus upon and promote narrow, divisive, exclusionary, and reactionary narratives and perspectives.

The following is a link to the full text of The World House chapter, taken from The World House Project (

You will note that this essay has the phrase “the fierce urgency of now”.  I am sure that will provoke in each of us our own juxtapositions of the world in which King wrote in 1967, and our present state of affairs.

Let me provide but one paragraph before you take on the reading for yourself:

One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this world-wide neighborhood into a world-wide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.


[I recognize that the essay is copyrighted material.  It is being referenced here in an educational context; not for commercial purposes]