Dr. Martin Luther King & David Foster Wallace on love and life

In the United States, today is the national holiday in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., so my “What to Read on the Subway” column is all about the history of the movement. Read all about it here.

  The website Where Is My Guru also posted this beautiful meme on their FB account:
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I also happened across a speech by the late author David Foster Wallace on values. You can find the full-text on brainpickings.com:

“If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already — it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on…..The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.”–David Foster Wallace

 I imagine that MLK and DFW would have much to say to each other, had they lived to adulthood at the same time, right? As MLK said: “We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives, and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
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