Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And His Transcendental Idea

2217 words - 9 pages

It is free will which keeps men away from being enslaved, physically and spiritually. Once a man has free will, he can make decisions on himself, thus he is not belonged to anybody else but himself. This free will is valued by Transcendentalists; it makes a man free of outsider’s control, and the man can create instead of imitating. Transcendentalists also expected the people make their own decisions based on conscience instead of what the authority is saying. In order to achieve that, one needs free will. A great transcendentalist, Emerson, expressed this idea in his essay Self-Reliance. In his essay, Emerson asked people to seek the truth from themselves instead of somebody else. Emerson supported that idea with the examples of great masters such as Newton, Washington, and Bacon. These great masters did not find truth from somebody else but themselves. Nobody taught them, therefore they taught themselves. By creating instead of imitating, those great masters left great legacy for the society. Transcendentalists also believe in action. According to Transcendentalism, everything in this universe is connected to each other. One’s action is going to affect others, and the effects of that action are eventually coming back to him. If an injustice is going on, one cannot excuse himself from not acting to justify the injustice. Not acting to correct injustice is an act to participate injustice; the injustice is eventually going to happen to whoever is indifferent to that injustice at the first time. Another great transcendentalist, Thoreau, used himself as an example of this idea. Thoreau was opposed to the Mexican war and slavery, because he thought those are injustices done by the government. While he strived to correct those injustices by refusing to pay taxes, his neighbors did nothing although they recognize those injustices. The neighbors would think since they are neither joining the army nor keeping the slaves, they are not a part of the injustice. Thoreau would not agree with that statement. According to Thoreau, one can only excuse himself from participating injustice by acting against the injustice. Thoreau’s transcendental idea noted the necessity to correct the injustice, for everything is connected to each other. Those two transcendentalists, Thoreau and Emerson, demonstrated the necessity and methods of correcting injustice. A great civil rights movement leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is well influenced by Thoreau and Emerson. Dr. King’s mission is to draw people’s attention to the injustice of racial discrimination and prompt people to actively fight against this injustice. With the help of the two great transcendentalists, Dr. King made an impact on Americans, taught the public why they should care the civil rights movement and how to support civil rights movement.
Before correcting an injustice, one has to know why he should correct on the injustice if it is not acting on him. One of the transcendental themes, the unity among all...

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