Martin Luther King Jr. quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. hate and love quote

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.

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.

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.

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me? But…the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’

 

Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.

“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.”

 

“The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

 

“Now, our country can do this. John Kenneth Galbraith said that a guaranteed annual income could be done for about twenty billion dollars a year. And I say to you today, that if our nation can spend thirty-five billion dollars a year to fight an unjust, evil war in Vietnam, and twenty billion dollars to put a man on the moon, it can spend billions of dollars to put God’s children on their own two feet right here on earth…”

 

“As I noticed these things, something within me cried out, “Can we in America stand idly by and not be concerned?” And an answer came: “Oh no!” Because the destiny of the United States is tied up with the destiny of India and every other nation. And I started thinking of the fact that we spend in America millions of dollars a day to store surplus food, and I said to myself, “I know where we can store that food free of charge—in the wrinkled stomachs of millions of God’s children all over the world who go to bed hungry at night.” And maybe we spend far too much of our national budget establishing military bases around the world rather than bases of genuine concern and understanding.”

 

“This is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will.”

 

“We are not coming to engage in any histrionic gesture. We are not coming to tear up Washington. We are coming to demand that the government address itself to the problem of poverty. We read one day, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” But if a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists.”

 

“One day we will have to stand before the God of history and we will talk in terms of things we’ve done. Yes, we will be able to say we built gargantuan bridges to span the seas, we built gigantic buildings to kiss the skies. Yes, we made our submarines to penetrate oceanic depths. We brought into being many other things with our scientific and technological power.

It seems that I can hear the God of history saying, “That was not enough! But I was hungry, and ye fed me not. I was naked, and ye clothed me not. I was devoid of a decent sanitary house to live in, and ye provided no shelter for me. And consequently, you cannot enter the kingdom of greatness. If ye do it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye do it unto me.” That’s the question facing America today.”

Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one’s soul.

I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.

 

 

 

“Another way that you love your enemy is this: When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it. There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life. That’s the time you must do it. That is the meaning of love. In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.” 

 

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from “Loving Your Enemies”)” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

 

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

 

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” 

 

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

 


― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

 

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” 

 

“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.” 

 

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

 

“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.” 

 

“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.” 

 

“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.” 

 

“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.” 

 

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” 

 

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo 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 street sweeper who did his job well.” 

 

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” 

 

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

 

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.” 

 

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” 

 

“Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.” 

 

“On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?

There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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