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In Memory of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Sharon Challenger.

(January 16, 2023)–Today as we honor and remember the life of Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) it is fitting that we reflect on his life and some of his most famous quotes. His speeches and quotations shine a light on the heart and soul of this courageous man. His patience in seeking justice and freedom for all, forever changed the course of American history.

There is a saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”  When it comes to MLK, his words and his actions are equally powerful and memorable.

Famous Quotations by King

“The beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.”

“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”

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

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

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

“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.”

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

“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.”

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

“Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than to seek his understanding. It seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.”

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

“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 richer we have become materially, the poorer we become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

“There is nothing more majestic than the determined courage of individuals willing to suffer and sacrifice for their freedom and dignity.”

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

“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.”

“Without love, there is no reason to know anyone, for love will in the end connect us to our neighbors, our children and our hearts.”

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

“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.”

In spite of the challenges Martin Luther King Jr. faced, in spite of the racism he witnessed, he never gave up. He never stopped believing that Gandhi’s policy of non-violence was to be followed. He put his faith in God, and America, and held firm to his belief that with determination if we worked together, his “Dream” could become a reality.

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