195 Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind


That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing


Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step


The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a dreamer has his eyes closed and a visionary has his eyes open


Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love


Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality


Hate destroys the hater


Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty we are free at last


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


I was not afraid of the words of the violent, but of the silence of the honest


The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind


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


A riot is the language of the unheard


It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it


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


Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity


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


There is no gain without struggle


I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother in law


We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace


You know, a lot of people don’t love themselves. And they go through life with deep and haunting emotional conflicts. So the length of life means that you must love yourself. And you know what loving yourself also means? It means that you’ve got to accept yourself


Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see


Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service


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


The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice


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


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


We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will. And we shall continue to love you


Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted


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


You see, equality is not only a matter of mathematics and geometry, but it’s a matter of psychology


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


We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil


In some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty


A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live


No, violence is not the way. Hate is not the way. Bitterness is not the way. We must stand up with love in our hearts, with a lack of bitterness and yet a determination to protest courageously for justice and freedom in this land


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


Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, “Love or perish.” Hate is too great a burden to bear


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


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


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


There is no such thing as separate but equal. Separation, segregation, inevitably makes for inequality


The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people


We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear


The time is always right to do right


Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred


We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools


So it means that we must rise up and protest courageously wherever we find segregation. Yes, we must do it nonviolently. We cannot afford to use violence in the struggle


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


The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict


I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls


It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.


So in the days ahead let us not sink into the quicksands of violence; rather let us stand on the high ground of love and non-injury


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


Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal


We must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future


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


No person has the right to rain on your dreams


Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love


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


If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love


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


There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love


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


There comes a time when silence is betrayal


Hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love


He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love


Find a voice in a whisper


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 positive action


I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems


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


A lie cannot live


Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men


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


Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus


The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility


Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind


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 work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence


We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop… I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land


I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law


If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective


The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows


We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools


There is nothing more majestic and sublime than the quiet testimony of a people willing to sacrifice and suffer for the cause of freedom


A right delayed is a right denied


If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way


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


A productive and happy life is not something you find; it is something you make


Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude


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


Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love…violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers


There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November


Almost always, the creative dedicated minority had made the world better


Only in the darkness can you see the stars


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 like brothers and sisters


Mother Dear, one day I’m going to turn this world upside down


Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.


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

Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear


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


The beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold


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


Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will


At the centre of non-violence stands the principle 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


Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend


Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agrees to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love


Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend


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


Every man lives in two realms: the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by means of which we live


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


If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means, keep moving


Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and enables the man who wields it.


We will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope


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


Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed


We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.


Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.


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


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


If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought, and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore him at our own risk


Real appreciation must flow from the deep seas of the heart


Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase


Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles


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


Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic


One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong


Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope


All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence


Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but it comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for out freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent


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


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.


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


Darkness is only driven out with light, not more darkness


But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly


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


When we allow freedom to 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! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last


Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars


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.


Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness


Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?


The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy


We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed


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


I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to e starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality


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


Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude


True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice


Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase


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


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


There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth


We bust build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear


So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream


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


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


Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase


When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative


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


Let no man pull you so low as to hate him


We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right


I have decided to stick with love. Hate is to great a burden to bear


Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude


I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear


True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.


True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice


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


Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’


Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love


That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do what is right.


Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.


Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.


A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.


I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.


Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.


If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, ‘brethren!’ Be careful, teachers!


Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness


We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.


Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.


Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.


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’.


Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.


We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.


The time is always right to do what is right


You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream.


Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.


Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.


Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education


We are not makers of history. We are made by history

Leave a Comment