It is a testament to his incredible gifts that Martin Luther King’s book Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? is perhaps more relevant today than it was 50 years ago. When we fully awaken and respond to its call to action, the planet will be transformed.
We must frankly acknowledge that in the past years our creativity and imagination were not employed in learning how to develop power. We found a method in nonviolent protest that worked, and we employed it enthusiastically. We did not have leisure to probe for a deeper understanding of its laws and lines of development. Although our actions were bold and crowned with successes, they were substantially improvised and spontaneous. They attained the goals set for them but carried the blemishes of our inexperience.
When a new dawn reveals a landscape dotted with obstacles, the time has come for sober reflection, for assessment of our methods and for anticipating pitfalls. Stumbling and groping through the wilderness finally must be replaced by a planned, organized and orderly march.
All inhabitants of the globe are now neighbors. This world-wide neighborhood has been brought into being largely as a result of the modern scientific and technological revolutions. The world of today is vastly different from the world of just one hundred years ago. A century ago Thomas Edison had not yet invented the incandescent lamp to bring light to many dark places of the earth. The Wright brothers had not yet invented that fascinating mechanical bird that would spread its gigantic wings across the skies and soon toward distance and place time in the service of man. Einstein hadn not yet challenged and axiom and the theory of relativity had not yet been posited.
Human beings, searching a century ago as now for better understanding, had no television, to radios, no telephones and no motion pictures through which to communicate. … Science had not yet peered into the unfathomable ranges of interstellar space, nor had it penetrated oceanic depths.