One City

One City

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Interdependence: Buddhist Quote of the Day

martin_luther_king_jr_quotes_buddhist.jpgposted by Ethan Nichtern

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born today (not Monday – we just like having Mondays off for some reason). If he was alive today, he would be 81 years old. That fact alone seems sad. And I know what you are going to say, you are going to say he wasn’t Buddhist. OK. But if you can find any difference between what comes next in this quote of the day and something, say, Thich Nhat Hanh might say, let me know.


“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality . . . Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality. “
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1967 Christmas Sermon on Peace
Comments read comments(11)
post a comment

posted January 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Aren’t humans amazing? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.
Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.
So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions of more animals to look for cures for these diseases.
Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.
Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and then call for “Peace on Earth.”
~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~
Check out this informative and inspiring video on why people choose vegan:
Also see Gary Yourofsky:

report abuse


posted January 16, 2010 at 6:46 am

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lived his life as a vehicle to all that is beautiful about Christianity, but he transcended the boundry of Christianity in the same way Ghandi, Mandela, and Jesus transcended the boundaries of their faiths. There is no difference between what King said in the quote you offered, Ethan, than in what I understand of something Thich Naht Hahn would say. Thank you for sharing that quote.

report abuse


posted January 16, 2010 at 8:02 am

Universal truth obliterates the false seperation of religious dogma. The light of MLK extinguishes the ignorance and pain of Pat Robertson’s statements about Haiti. Happy Birthday Dr. King!

report abuse


posted January 17, 2010 at 10:35 am
boot.ugg.jacket.jeans.sweart. (UGG)
jordan air max oakland dunks $39;
Christan Audigier BIKINI JACKET $30;
gstar coogi evisu true jeans $35-39;
coach chanel gucci LV handbags $36;

report abuse

Jon Rubinstein

posted January 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm

he also said:
“I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made. No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are interdependent.”
It’s no wonder MLK Jr. nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize! They were truly cut from the same cloth.

report abuse


posted January 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm

thanks for posting this Ethan!
We all have so much to learn from each other, Buddhist or no.
I’ve read excerpts of “One City…” in a meditation class I took at the Milwaukee Shambhala center and found them dripping with meaningful goodness. Speaking of, I am happy to announce the launch of Life After Hate today, on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Much of the thought expressed there is influenced by Buddhism.
I hope you like it.
Thanks for the shout out to MLK, and I look forward to reading the rest of your book now that mine is kinda off the ground.

report abuse


posted January 22, 2010 at 4:08 am

Or maybe something Albert Einstein might say?
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest–a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
-Albert Einstein
Thank you for sharing this quote.

report abuse

Josh Cohen

posted January 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Same goes for ourselves- what we identify with. If we take ourselves to be something independent than we will sow the seeds of desire and fear.
When we realize that we are All, then our actions become spontaneous and effortless and in complete harmony with what each present moment requires.

report abuse

Stephanie Potter

posted January 16, 2012 at 4:13 am

Thanks, Ethan. My facebook contemplation of the day.

report abuse


posted May 22, 2013 at 10:28 am

Many thanks for the best writeup. It in reality became a excitement consideration the item. Glimpse intricate for you to far shipped agreeable on your part! Nevertheless, just how could possibly most people be in contact?

report abuse

George Hoguet

posted July 5, 2013 at 7:55 am

Thanks for this great quote from Dr. King. I am glad to know that he and Thich Nhat Hanh spoke together several times, especially about “beloved community”. Their lives are their greatest teachings.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting One City. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Most Recent Buddhist Story By Beliefnet Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading! ...

posted 2:29:05pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mixing technology and practice
There were many more good sessions at the Wisdom 2.0 conference this weekend. The intention of the organizers is to post videos. I'll let you know when. Here are some of my notes from a second panel. How do we use modern, social media ...

posted 3:54:40pm May. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Wisdom 2.0
If a zen master were sitting next to the chief technical officer of Twitter, what would they talk about? That sounds like a hypothetical overheared at a bar in San Francisco. But this weekend I saw the very thing at Soren Gordhamer's Wisdom 2.0 ...

posted 1:43:19pm May. 01, 2010 | read full post »

The Buddha at Work - "All we are is dust in the wind, dude."
"The only true wisdom consists of knowing that you know nothing." - Alex Winter, as Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"That's us, dude!" - Keanu Reeves, as Ted "Theodore" LoganWhoa! Excellent! I've had ...

posted 2:20:00pm Jan. 28, 2010 | read full post »

Sometimes You Find Enlightenment by Punching People in the Face
This week I'm curating a guest post from Jonathan Mead, a friend who inspires by living life on his own terms and sharing what he can with others.  To quote from Jonathan's own site, Illuminated Mind: "The reason for everything: To create a ...

posted 12:32:23pm Jan. 27, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.