Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“I have decided to stick to love … Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”

“Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”

“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

“Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.”

“On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?

There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

“The time is always right to do the right thing.”

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

“The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence.”

“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”

“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”

“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.”

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. ”

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die.”

“One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”

“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

“It is cheerful to God when you rejoice or laugh from the bottom of your heart.”

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”

“There is no gain without struggle.”

“A right delayed is a right denied.”

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

“I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality”

“Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”

“We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”

“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

“What affects one in a major way, affects all in a minor way.”

“If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation.”

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

“A lie cannot live.”

“I Have A Dream”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

“Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized, cruelly mocked, but it an never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

“The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Toward Justice”

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles;
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?

“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”

“We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. ”

“One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong”

“Hate destroys the hater…”

“We are faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words ‘Too Late’.”

“An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law”

“It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.”

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

“I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed, without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government.”

“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”

“Quietly endure, silently suffer and patiently wait.”

“Be The Peace You Wish To See In The World!”

“We shall overcome.”

“But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this world-wide neighborhood into a world – wide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.

“Find a voice in a whisper.”

“We must use time creatively – and forever realize that the time is always hope to do great things.”

“The end of life is not to be happy, nor to achieve pleasure and avoid pain, but to do the will of God, come what may.”

“I am what I am because of who we all are.”

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

“Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.”

“There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that that have nothing to lose. People who have stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.”

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

“Right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“Babies, we are told, are the latest news from heaven.”

“We must substitute courage for caution.”

“Free at last! Free at last!”

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

“The potential beauty of human life is constantly made ugly by man’s ever-recurring song of retaliation.”

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
“The Universe is on the side of Justice”

“Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”

“Let us be those creative dissenters who will call our beloved nation to a higher destiny. To a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness.”

“Christ furnished the spirit and motivation while Gandhi furnished the method.”

“Let Freedom Ring.”

“Hate is too big of burden to bear. I have decided to love.”

“The time comes when silence is betrayal. That time has come for us today…

“We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.”

“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.

Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.

Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the qu icksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”

“Violence is not only impractical but immoral.”

“And one day we must ask the question, “Why are there forty million poor people in America?” And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy.”

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”

“I have a dream. I have a dream that one day, people will be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.”

“A man who does not have something for which he is willing to die is not fit to live.”

“If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving.”

“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right.”

“The human heart is like a ship on a stormy sea driven about by winds blowing from all four corners of heaven.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.”

“Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.”

“If a man hasn’t found anything worth dying for, then he is not fit to live.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.”

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