Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and it’s an important day in the history of our nation. It’s important that we remember the legacy of Dr. King and his hard work in uniting the people. I typically post a quote as my status on facebook, but I recently came across a page which has a large library of quotes attributed to Dr. King that I enjoyed reading. I decided to pull some that resonated with me, as I, like many of you, need some positive inspiration in this time where lots of things are unknown.
“In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be”
“As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.” (1956)
“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.” (1958)
“A fifth point concerning nonviolent resistance is that it avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also refuses to hate him.” (1958)
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction … The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” (1963)
“We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart. “(1963)
“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.”
– Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden, 1964
“One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.”
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
“Number one in your life’s blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own “somebodiness.” Don’t allow anybody to make you fell that you’re nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance”. (1967)
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“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 verbs agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”
“”I” cannot reach fulfillment without “thou.” The self cannot be self without other selves. Self-concern without other-concern is like a tributary that has no outward flow to the ocean.”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“If we do not learn to live together as friends, we will die apart as fools.”
“The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty. “(1967)
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
“We shall have to do more than register and more than vote; we shall have to create leaders who embody virtues we can respect, who have moral and ethical principles we can applaud with enthusiasm.”
“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life 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.”
In support of the striking sanitation workers at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn., on April 3, 1968 – the day before Dr. King was assassinated.
I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
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