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 con
- 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
2. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
3. We are not makers of history. We are made by history.
4. In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
5. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
6. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
7. 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.
8. The time is always right to do what is right.
9. I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
10. We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
11. 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.
12. We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.
13. Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
14. 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.
15. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
16. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
17. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
18. We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
19. History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
20. 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.
21. The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.
22. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
23. If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
33. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
35. That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.
36. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
37. 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 together at the table of brotherhood.
38. Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
39. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
40. Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.
41. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
42. 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.
43. Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
44. 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.
45. 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?’