Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Six Guiding Beliefs

Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Six Guiding Beliefs

Angela Farris Watkins, PhD
Illustrator:  Sally Wern Comport 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2014   ISBN: 978-1416986935

There is no doubt that Martin Luther King Jr. was “one of the greatest men in history.” He worked hard to end segregation and racial discrimination in the United States, and strongly believed that the way to achieve this goal was to do so in a loving, nonviolent way. Martin Luther King Jr. had six guiding beliefs that he did his best to follow. The author of this book, who was his niece, believes that these six principals “teach us that love has power,” and she wants to share them with us.

The first principal is to “Have courage,” to face your adversaries bravely, but to do so without getting violent. In his own life Martin Luther King Jr. had to be courageous many times, and though there must have been times when he was afraid, he still stood up against those who wished him ill.

He never responded to their anger and violent acts with anger and violence of his own, which is his second principal. The idea of loving your enemies is not a new one, but far too few people are able to live the idea. He believed that even people who hurt us have good qualities in them, and that these are the qualities we should love. Hate feeds on hate and so it is up to us to turn from it, no matter the provocation. Instead of letting hate drive our passions, we should embrace love because “love makes everyone stronger.”

Often, when we are angry or hurt, we lash out at the people who personify a problem rather than working to solve that problem. Thus Martin did not criticize people who attacked what he was doing. Instead, he focused on the problem at hand and worked on that, and this was his third principal.

Martin knew that it isn’t always easy to garner support for a cause. This is especially true if people fight for the cause in a hate-filled, violent way. If innocent people are victimized when they fight for a cause, then the cause itself gains support because people are “inspired to help.” This fourth principal was one of the reasons why so many people, from all over the United States, rallied around Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters. If Martin and his followers eschewed violence (the fifth principal) then their cause was a true one.

The final principal is probably the most powerful. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that “the universe honors love.” He believed that so long as he embraced peace, then love would prevail.

Throughout this remarkable book, Martin Luther King Jr’s. niece shows us how her uncle, through his actions, lived the six principals that he believed in so strongly. If readers think about the principals themselves, and how Martin lived them, they will surely see that his six principals are relevant to us all, no matter what are circumstances are.