Most Motivational Martin Luther King Quotes
Decades after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968, the words of the influential civil rights leader are more pertinent than ever.
With Martin Luther King Jr. Day fast approaching, check out some of his most inspirational quotes collected from speeches, sermons and interviews. Which one resonates with you the most?
"We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right."
"Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man."
"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."
On the Quality of Life
"The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important."
"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend."
"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."
"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 build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear."
On Being Yourself
"You will change your mind. You will change your looks. You will change your smile, laugh and ways, but no matter what you change, you will always be you."
"We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope."
"The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one."
"A riot is the language of the unheard."
"A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true."
On Human Rights
"I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, other-centered men can build up."
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
"I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good."
On Law and Order
"Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, and when they fail in this purpose, they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress."
On Knowing Each Other
"People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other."
"Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever."
On Racial Harmony
"I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls."
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."
"The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, 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!'"
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction."
"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 your verb agree to serve ...You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."
"The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."
"And I would submit to you this morning that what is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy."
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."