Thursday, January 23, 2014

Young and Old Take on King's Unfinished Mission

by Donna Butts

No one told Martin Luther King Jr. he was too young to change the world.

Even without the aid of today's digital tools, he led a movement when he was 26. Young and old joined his causes, marching together for social justice and economic equality. Today, ordinary citizens are still reaching across race, class and age, often using social media to demand a world with opportunity for all King once envisioned.

To keep the momentum going, we need to take a psychologist's approach to how we see America's psyche and confirm our diagnosis before we can move forward with a solution. That's how King was able to accomplish what he did, according to Dr. Jennifer Leigh Selig, who chairs the Jungian & Archetypal Studies department at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California.

"His treatment of the country paralleled Karen Horney's treatment of the neurotic: he helped his client -- the country -- to see the gap between her ideal self and her real self," according to Selig's paper, "The Unfinished Mission of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." "He used marches and protests and demonstrations to bring America's shadow to the surface where she could no longer deny its existence, and then... he offered her specific redemptive measures she could take toward healing and wholeness."

Now, nearly 60 years since the Montgomery Bus Boycotts -- when King reenergized the civil rights struggle -- our ways of bringing America's shadow to the surface is a far cry from picket signs and marches. Today's "depth psychologists" -- as Selig would call them - are online, organizing through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

read the full article at the Huffington Post

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