Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, an American federal holiday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK). MLK was an exceptional man who dedicated his life to improving the world in which he lived, and challenged others to do the same. King is the only non-president to have a day commemorating him.

King fought tirelessly for the rights of African Americans, the poor, and for equality for all people. He was a strong advocate of nonviolence and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Despite multiple arrests and violence around him, King stayed steadfast in his nonviolent philosophy until he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in April of 1968. If still alive today, King would be 87 years old.

Today’s “Quotes of the Day” are geared toward honoring Martin Luther King., Jr. Below are twenty inspiration quotations King made throughout the course of his life. Subjects address leadership, love, equality, faith, tolerance and altruism.

  1. “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.”
  2. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  5. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
  9. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
  10. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
  11. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
  12. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
  13. “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
  14. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
  15. “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.”
  16. “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
  17. “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
  18. “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.”
  19. “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”
  20. “That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”

Here are some other resources you may want to check out this holiday:

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service – Official Website
  2. The Greatest MLK Speeches You Never Heard via CNN
  3. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech”


Tell me what you think.

  • Do you have any thoughts about Martin Luther King Jr. that you would like to share?
  • What are your plans for Martin Luther King Jr. Day?
  • Will you be honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by serving your community in any capacity?
  • Do you have any favorite MLK quotes?

If so, please share in the comments below this article and have a great day!

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