Ultimate 200+ Martin Luther King Quotes Collection

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON COURAGE:

A social movement that only moves people is merely a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution.

  • Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
  • Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.
  • Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
  • Courage is the power of the mind to overcome the fear.
  • Courageous men never lose the zest for living even though their life situation is zest less; cowardly men, overwhelmed by the uncertainties of life, lose the will to live.
  • Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
  • However difficult it is to hear, however shocking it is to hear, we’ve got to face that America is a racist country.
  • I came to the conclusion that there is an existential moment in your life when you must decide to speak for yourself.  Nobody else can speak for you.
  • In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
  • More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will.  We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To be great, you have to be willing to be mocked, hated and misunderstood stay strong.
  • We bust build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
  • We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.
  • We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON DREAMS:

A dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man’s skin determines the content of his character.

  •  A dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality.
  • A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few;
  • 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 that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
  • I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.
  • I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creeds:  We hold these truths to be self orient that all men are called equal.
  • I have the audacity to believe that peoples 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 look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions.
  • I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of difficulties and frustration of the moment I still have dream.
  • No person has the right to rain on your dreams.
  • So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.
  • This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream – a dream yet unfulfilled.
  • Use me, God.  Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.
  • You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream.

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON EDUCATION:

A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths.

  • Capitalism fails to realize that life is social.  Communism fails to realize that life is personal.  The good and just society is a socially conscious democracy which reconciles the truths of individualism and collectivism.
  • Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.
  • Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
  • Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere.
  • Education without social action is a one-sided value because it has no true power potential.
  • Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
  • It’s not burn baby burn, but learn, baby, learn, so that you can earn, baby, earn.
  • Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification
  • Learn a little about past, and you may end up with a pretty nice future.
  • Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
  • 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.
  • The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.
  • The function of education is to teach one thing intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
  • The group consisting of mother, father and child is the main educational agency of mankind.
  • To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education.
  • We must remember that intelligence is not enough….The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.
  • Whites, it must be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance.  It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn.

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON EQUALITY:

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

  • Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights.  You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.
  • Discrimination is a hell hound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.
  • I look to day when people will not be judged by the Color of their Skin, but by the Content of their Character.
  • I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.
  • It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.
  • Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.
  • Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
  • 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.
  • Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.
  • Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.
  • Segregation…not only harms one physically but injures one spiritually…It scars the soul…It is a system which forever stares the segregated in the face, saying ‘You are less than…”You are not equal to…'”
  • There are two types of laws: there are just laws and there are unjust laws… What is the difference between the two? … An unjust law is a man-made code that is out of harmony with the moral law.
  • We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
  • We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
  • We’ve learned to fly the air like birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas like fish, and yet we haven’t learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters.
  • Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON JUSTICE:

A Church that has lost its voice for justice is a Church that has lost its relevance in the world.

  • 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.
  • As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love.
  • Evil must be attacked by. . . the day to day assault of the battering rams of justice.
  • Injustice to anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
  • It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people.
  • Justice is love correcting that which revolts against love.
  • Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice, of law, of order —in short, of government.
  • Peace is not simply the absence of conflict, but the existence of justice for all people.
  • Power at its best is love implementing the demand of justice.
  • Stand up for justice, stand up for truth; and God will be at your side forever.
  • The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
  • The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
  • The movement for equality and justice can only be a success if it has both a mass and militant character; the barriers to be overcome require both.
  • The universe is on the side of justice.
  • We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience… But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.
  • We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters.
  • Where evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice.
  • Will we be extremists for hate, or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice, or will we be extremists for the cause of justice?
  • Without justice, there is no peace.

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON LEADERSHIP:

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

  • All labor that uplift humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
  • Almost  always the  creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
  • Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.
  • Freedom has always been an expensive thing. History is fit testimony to the fact that freedom is rarely gained without sacrifice and self-denial.
  • He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
  • Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
  • I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few,
  • If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.
  • If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo 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.
  • If your action inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
  • Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?
  • Not everybody can be famous.  But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.  You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.
  • Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.
  • That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do what is right.
  • The best way to solve any problem is to remove its cause.
  • The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.
  • 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.
  • 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 are not makers of history.  We are made by history.
  • Whatever your life’s work is, do it well.  A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON LOVE:

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.

  • At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
  • Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.
  • Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.
  • Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.
  • Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.  Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
  • I am convinced that love is the most durable power in the world. It is not an expression of impractical idealism, but of practical realism.
  • 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.
  • I have decided to stick with love.  Hat is too much great a burden to bear.
  • I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.  Returning hate for hatred 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.
  • I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality … I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
  • If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.
  • In order to love your enemies, you must begin by analyzing self.
  • It is not enough to say ‘We must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but the positive affirmation of peace.
  • It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.
  • Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity.
  • Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
  • Love even for enemies is the key to the solution of the problems of our world.
  • Love is the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.
  • Love is the most durable power in the world.
  • Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
  • Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
  • Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
  • Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.
  • No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are interdependent.
  • Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.
  • Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
  • Someone must have sense enough and religion enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil, and this can only be done through love.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.
  • There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is in human will.
  • 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.
  • True compassion is more than flinging a coin to the beggar.  It comes to see than an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
  • Unconditional love will have the final word in reality.
  • We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.
  • 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.
  • We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
  • When evil men plot, good men must plan; when evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love.
  • 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.

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON PEACE:

Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.

  • Peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.
  • Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
  • Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.
  • True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it’s the presence of justice.
  • Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrow.
  • We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.
  • We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace.
  • We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society.

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON PROGRESS:

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.

  • A productive and happy life is not something you find; it is something you make.
  • All progress is precarious and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
  • As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars.
  • Every step towards goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
  • Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
  • If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.
  • 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.
  • Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.  We have guided missiles and misguided men.
  • 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.
  • Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.
  • The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
  • We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
  • Whatever your life’s work is, do it well!  A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead and the unborn, could do it no better!
  • You can’t reach good ends through evil means, because the means represent the seed and the end represents the tree.

MARTIN LUTHER KING QUOTES ON SUCCESS:

A final victory is an accumulation of many short-term encounters. To lightly dismiss a success because it does not usher in a complete order of justice is to fail to comprehend the process of achieving full victory

  • Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.
  • 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.
  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  • Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
  • Evil may so shape events that Caesar will occupy a palace and Christ a cross, but one day that same Christ will rise up and split history into A.D. and B.C., so that even the life of Caesar must be dated by his name.
  • If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
  • If I wish to compose or write or pray or perch well, I must be angry. Then all the blood in my veins is stirred, and my understanding is sharpened.
  • If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t walk run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means keep moving.
  • In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
  • Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.
  • No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.
  • One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust law.
  • One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying.
  • Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
  • Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard solid thinking.  There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half baked solutions.  Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
  • Success, recognition, and conformity are the by words of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.
  • We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
  • Whatever career you may choose for yourself – doctor, lawyer, teacher – let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it.

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