Luther King, Jr.
What can be said about the
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., that hasn't been
Inspiring, motivational, challenging, caring, full of hope and
courage--he was a great man who stood up in a era that was in desperate
of a spokesman for a people in desperate need of an effective
advocate. You had
a dream, Mr. King, and while that dream has not
yet come true, we're closer now
to the fulfillment of the dream than we
ever have been before. While we still
have a ways to go, we're on
a path that you helped to point out, and we
thank you for your guidance
and courage and strength.
have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and
luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave
a committed life behind.
and nonviolence help us to see the enemy's point of view,
to hear their questions, to know their assessment of ourselves.
For from their point of view we may indeed see the basic
of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn
and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers
and sisters who are called the opposition.
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 that 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. . . . So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything.
I'm not fearing any man.
(from a speech the
night before his assassination)
I have also decided to stick with love, for I know
that love is ultimately the only
answer to humankind's problems. I've seen too much hate on the
faces of sheriffs
in the South. I've seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and
White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate, myself, because
every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and
personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to
bear. I have
decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you
can find it
through love. Those who hate do not know God, but those who love
have the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.
use time creatively. . . and forever realize that the time is always
ripe to do right.
stand in life at midnight; we are always on the threshold of a new dawn.
must be reminded that it is not the master or the
servant of the state,
but rather the conscience of the state.
|We must accept finite
disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.
|If a man is
called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets
Michelangelo 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 streetsweeper who
did his job well.
The ultimate measure of
people is not where they stand in moments
of comfort and convenience, but
where they stand
at times of challenge and controversy.
we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every hamlet,
state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day
when all of
God's children, black people and white people,
Jews and Gentiles, Protestants
and Catholics, will be able to join hands
and sing in the words of the
old Negro spiritual,
"Free at last! Free at last! Thank
God Almighty, we are free at last!"
I have a
dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation
they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content
of their character.
refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of people's present
nature makes them
morally incapable of reaching up for the "oughtness"
that forever confronts them.
refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation
down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear destruction.
I believe that the unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the
final word in reality.
our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds
and our nights become
darker than a thousand midnights,
let us remember that there is a great
in the universe whose name is God, and he is able to make
way out of no way, and transform dark yesterdays
tomorrows. This is our hope for becoming better people.
our mandate for seeking to make a better world.
and cowardice are antithetical.
Courage is an inner resolution to go forward in spite of obstacles and
cowardice is a submissive surrender to
Courage breeds courageous self-affirmation; cowardice produces
Courage faces fear and thereby masters it; cowardice represses fear and
is thereby mastered by it.
Courageous people never lose the zest for living even though their life
situation is zestless;
cowardly people, overwhelmed by the uncertainties of
life lose the will to live.
We must constantly build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of
scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.
We have guided missiles and misguided people.
be great. . . because anybody can serve.
You don't have to have a
college degree to serve. . . .
You only need a heart full of grace.
A soul generated by love.
All labor that uplifts humanity has
dignity and importance
and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
That old law about "an eye for an eye"
leaves everybody blind.
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