Martin Luther King day was last Monday. Yes, I know that makes me a little late in celebrating the great Martin Luther King, Jr., but I think that his words and the lessons he taught us can (and should) be appreciated every day. MLK was a remarkable person, whose nonviolent measures of civil disobedience had a remarkable impact on our country, changing it forever.
Given the current political climate of our country, I think that it is especially important to reflect on the message of MLK and also acknowledge that he was able to achieve so much positive change using peaceful protest. Here are some of my favorite MLK quotes to celebrate him as well as his methods of creating change!
“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”
"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
"The time is always right to do what is right."
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends."
"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."
"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
"We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or parish together as fools."
"I refuse to accept the view that [human]kind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that bring daybreak of peace and brotherhood [sisterhood] can never become a reality...I believe that the unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is most important."
"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."
"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
"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."
"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love."
"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing."