King’s legacy found in the words he spoke


First Posted: 1/17/2015

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in America and mankind.

That’s what we need to remember as we honor him today on this holiday.

He believed in a nation founded on the principles of equality for all people, and one that would provide the opportunity for anyone to advance in life according to their own merits. He left a legacy of hope and inspiration, one that is found in the many thought-provoking words he spoke.

He touched on character, dignity and justice. He spoke of love, knowledge and a spiritual calling. We share some of those treasures with you today:

Character

• “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.”

Dignity

• “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.”

• “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.”

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

Helping others

• “The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.”

Justice, injustice

• “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. … Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

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

• “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

• “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.”Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. … Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Love over hate

• “At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”

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

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

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

• “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.”

• “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

Power of knowledge

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

• “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”

Sacrifice

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

• “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. … Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Spiritual calling

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

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

• “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.”

Post navigation