Martin Luther King remained one of the most famous American Baptist minister and a fervent activist for the civil rights of African-Americans. He was the leader of this movement, using his Christian beliefs and a nonviolent disobedience to show his disagreement to how African-Americans are treated. He even received the Nobel Peace Prize, on the 14th of October 1964, for fighting against racial inequality without violent means or methods. Besides the fight for civil right, Martin Luther King also started campaigns to help the poor and was against the war in Vietnam. We have a lot to learn from this man, who decided to risk his own life in times where racial discrimination was a major problem. Here are several famous Martin Luther King quotes to ponder about.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Negativity cannot eliminate negativity. If someone does you wrong, you won’t make things better by paying back with the same coin. You need to show that you are different, much better than them, by answering back in a way they will never expect. And that is with love and understanding.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Martin Luther King was a true altruist, always putting the needs of others first. He believed that it is the only way to make our society be better. So he urged people to action, to find something they can do for the people around them. A helping hand, no matter for who and when, can change a life.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
We can’t always see the outcome of our decisions, and even if we can, we will never know if it is for real. So, we need to have faith and take the risk of going up a staircase that can’t be seen where it will take. Faith will help us make the first step, guiding us throughout the entire process.
“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.”
It doesn’t matter much how you choose or manage to move forward. The most important thing is to do it, no matter what. We all need to develop and progress, even if we do it one step at a time. Results will pay off eventually. Not doing anything will be the worst thing.
“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.”
Everybody can be great and look great when the conditions are appropriate. When we have no worries, when we have everything we need and things are calm, we are the best persons alive. But what do we do when crisis strikes? This is when our true character comes to life, although it depends very much on us how we chose to react.
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
These famous Martin Luther King quotes speak words of wisdom, even if they don’t present ideal situations, and this one will not make any exception. You need the darkness to be able to see the stars, so you may need hardship to see the things that actually matter in your life.
“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.”
The truth is that for doing something for someone you don’t need to have schools and degrees. You just need to have the will to change something, a warm heart to allow you to do something for the ones in need, and love, to change the community in which you live.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
We all need to be able to forgive, for our mental sanity and happiness. Without forgiveness, our lives would be much bitter, because we accumulate negativity, sorrow, sadness, caving in to depression. We will end up having our social and family relationships ruined, regretting when it is too late that we didn’t do anything about it. So learn to forgive, because you will be thankful for it later.
“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.”
What do we wish most in life? To be happy, of course, as we spend most of our time searching for the things that make us happy. Unfortunately, many people get lost in this search, not noticing the most important aspect that will make us happy. And that is the happiness of others. Seeing happy people around us will make us feel the same.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Disappointment is a natural part of the process of achieving our goal. So even if we experience it, we should take it as it is, and move forward. Disappointment can be made to disappear, because hope is the one we should cling on. Hope is the one that will give us strength each time we need it.
There are wise words in these famous Martin Luther King, aspects we must definitely think about, because he always tried to make people think more positively. He wanted us to be more united, to care for each other, to help the ones in need and seek happiness by doing something for others. With other words, he dreamt about a society without hatred, discrimination, intolerances and violence. We can continue his work by changing ourselves in becoming better. We can become examples for others, influencing the community in a way that will make tolerance, support and love be present.