Sometimes when emotions are hot and debates are combative, trying to yell even louder won’t work. Doing the opposite can make people listen. Sometimes, if you whisper, people will strain to hear what you are saying.
While confined here in the Birmingham City Jail, I came across your recent statement calling our present activities “unwise and untimely.”
Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
As the civil rights movement was heating up in the early 1960s, Dr. King responded to eight fellow clergymen who wrote to urge an end to demonstrations and to instead use peaceful, orderly means to achieve a “better Birmingham.” The rest of Dr. King’s reasoned, orderly letter is in tune with his beginning. He sets forth a case for the protestors’ actions that has become a classic of American public literature on par with Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience from a hundred years before.
from “Write Better: A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spirituality” by Andrew T. Le Peau, Intervarsity Press