20 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes That Are Still Relevant Today


By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

Martin Luther King Jr. was an inspiration to everyone around the world who had been oppressed for centuries. Born in an African-American family, he had to face segregation first hand as the colored Americans were segregated from every sphere of life. In this period of turmoil, Martin Luther King Jr. came out as the leader of the oppressed.

In his lifetime, Martin Luther King Jr. led the colored Americans to rebel against the white supremacists. He had to face persecution and immense prejudice in his desire to see a united America, free from discrimination on the basis of color or race.

Here are 20 famous quotes by the great man who taught everyone the spirit of brotherhood and equality.

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

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

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

Read: Activists Rekindle Martin Luther King’s Work Helping Those Living In Poverty

4. 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.

5. If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t walk run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever youdo youhave to keep moving forward.

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

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

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

Martin Luther King Jr.

Credit: Michael Ochs Archives

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

10. 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.

11. 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.

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

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

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

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

Read: Reevaluate Your Life Goals With These 25 Inspiring Ram Dass Quotes

18. 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.

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

20. 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.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s quotes have relevance even in the 21st century. And we know that this great man would continue to inspire us even in the years to come.

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