Remembering Dr. King

It was early in my senior year of high school and somehow a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. wound up in my hands.  Later that year we studied King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.  Ever since Dr. King has been a hero of mine.  It blows my mind that I am now one year older than he was ever allowed to become.  There is so much I embrace as truth in what he said.  Even more than his words, King’s very life is a sermon.  What a wonderful man who did much to advance God’s Kingdom in this world!  Happy Birthday Dr. King!

Here are a few of my favorite King quotes:

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

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

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.

At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.

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

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.

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.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

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

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

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?”

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.

Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.

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

We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.

Man, I wish I could be at the new MLK Memorial on the Mall in Washington tomorrow.  But I hope to be there in May.