Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day in the United States of America. It is a federal holiday set aside to celebrate his birth, legacy, and life’s work. Dr. King was a Baptist Minister and civil rights leader in the 50’s and 60’s. He is best known for his activism, speeches, and leadership of the civil rights movement till his assassination in 1968. In honor of his life, we have curated twenty-one inspiring quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. in this post.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta. He was a leading activist at the time to end racial segregation, inequality, and the rights for African Americans to vote. His most famous speech called I have A Dream was delivered at the 1963 March on Washington. Historical estimates claim over 250,000 people were in attendance at the march.
Among many other things, Dr. King was also an eloquent orator. During his life, he gave several speeches that have been culled into popular quotes of his today.
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Interesting facts about Martin Luther King Jr.
Before we share some inspiring quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., here are a few interesting facts about him:
- He was originally born as Michael King Jr. His name wasn’t changed officially to Martin Luther King Jr. until 1957 when he was 28 years old.
- At 13, he became the youngest assistant manager of a newspaper delivery station for the Atlanta Journal.
- King was the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was 35.
- Martin was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and went to jail nearly 30 times.
- He is the only Non-President to have a national holiday in his name in the United States.
- There are approximately 900 streets named after Dr. King in the US.
Next, we will share twenty-one inspiring quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. day.
Twenty-one Inspiring Quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.
- 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.
- Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
- 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.
- We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
- Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
- Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. And so, we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.
- 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.
- Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.
- 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.
- Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
- 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.
- Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love…violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.
- Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.
- Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
- Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, “Love or perish.” Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- If one loves an individual merely on account of his friendliness, he loves him for the sake of the benefits to be gained from the friendship, rather than for the friend’s own sake. Consequently, the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution.
- We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
- You know, a lot of people don’t love themselves. And they go through life with deep and haunting emotional conflicts. So, the length of life means that you must love yourself. And you know what loving yourself also means? It means that you’ve got to accept yourself.
- True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.
- Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
- 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.
If you’ve read through these quotes, you’ll also see why we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. day. He was such an inspiration and each of his quotes is filled with such depth and wisdom.
Which of these quotes by Martin Luther King Jr did you like best? We particularly loved the last one about finding happiness by seeking the happiness of others.
Feel free to share your favorite quotes in our comments section below. We would love to hear from you.
Today’s Funny Quote
Our funny quote for today is by Margaret Mead, the American Cultural Anthropologist. She said:
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
What do you think of Ms. Mead’s quote? Let us know in the comments below.
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