“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“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.”
“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”
“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.”
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”
“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.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“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.”
“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”
“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
“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.”
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
“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.”
“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”
“the time is always right to do the right thing”
“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“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.”
“The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence.”
“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”
“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
“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”)”
“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
“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.”
“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”
“We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
“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?”
“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. ”
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
“The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die”
“One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”
“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.”
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and postive action.”
“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.”
“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”
“Whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent”
“If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation.”
“Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”
“We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”
“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. … A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.”
“A lie cannot live.”
“What affects one in a major way, affects all in a minor way.”
“I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality”
“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
“Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”
“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
“The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”
“Like anybody, I would like to have a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.”
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”
“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.”
“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles;
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
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.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”