It's Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday. He had an amazing way with words, and an incredible gift to inspire with those words.
Here are some of the most memorable.
"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."
"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."
"A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan."
I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom.
Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?" But Conscience asks the question "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.
"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better."
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
"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."
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."
"Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."
"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."
"The time is always right to do what is right."
and last but not least:
"From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom 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! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Crossposted on my other blog.