I was reading “Belief” on Monday evening when this excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s writing jumped off the page at me:
“A nation or a civilization that continues to produce softminded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.”
A few ways he describes the term softmindedness:
“The softminded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.”
“The toughminded person always examines the facts before he reaches conclusions; in short he postjudges. The tenderminded person reaches a conclusion before he has examined the first face; in short, he prejudges and is prejudged. Race prejudice is based on groundless fears, suspicions, and misunderstandings.”
What bold statements. As the 2012 election soundbites continue to play on TV, let us think about Dr. King. I can respect differences in opinion, but I cannot respect those who blindly follow the status quo.