Thich Nhat Nanh On Dr. MLK
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day, an excerpt from the great spiritual leader Thich Nhat Nanh written in 1965 during the Vietnam war: "In Search of the Enemy of Man (addressed to (the Rev.) Martin Luther King)." I believe with all my heart that the monks who burned themselves did not aim at the death of the oppressors but only at a change in their policy. Their enemies are not man. They are intolerance, fanaticism, dictatorship, cupidity, hatred and discrimination which lie within the heart of man. I also believe with all my being that the struggle for equality and freedom you lead in Birmingham, Alabama... is not aimed at the whites but only at intolerance, hatred and discrimination. These are real enemies of man — not man himself. In our unfortunate father land we are trying to yield desperately: do not kill man, even in man's name. Please kill the real enemies of man which are present everywhere, in our very hearts and minds."