Thursday, October 18, 2007

Martin Luther King - Quotes for Group Discussion

Martin Luther King

Success and Failure

Politics, Government and Power

All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.

Leadership

Courage and Fear

Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?

Expediency asks the question - is it politic?

Vanity 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 one must take it because it is right

Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.

STRENGTH

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Truths, Ideas, Ideals to Live by

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

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

But I know somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.

One who condones evils is just as guilty as the one who perpetrates it.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

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

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

If a man hasn't discovered something that he would die for, he isn't fit to live.


Optimism and Pessimism

Mistakes, Oversights, Misfortune

Opinion

Comebacks, Humor

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

History

Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'

Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

...And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man.

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

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values -- that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.

I’ve seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say:”We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you.... But be assured that we’ll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.

Wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete. There may have been a time when war served as a negative good by preventing the spread and growth of an evil force... If we assume that life is worth living, if we assume that mankind has the right to survive, then we must find an alternative to war.

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.

DESTINY

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.

Perspective on Life

I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.

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.

Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

We have flown the air like birds and swum the seas like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

God is not merely interested in the freedom of brown men, yellow men, red men and black men.He is interested in the freedom of the whole human race.

We must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.

Dreams

Rich, Poor, Generosity

Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?

The time is always right to do what is right.

Education, Personal Development, Personal Responsibility

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, popular, or political; but because it is right.

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