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Most Powerful Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes of All Time

Written by QuotesLyfe | Updated on: January 19, 2021

         

Most Powerful Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes of All Time

In this article, we will find some of the best Martin Luther King Jr.quotes with Meaning. The quotes cover a broad range of category like Humanity, Philanthropy, Forgiveness, Life, etc. These quotes will inspire you in life and will act as a guiding force.

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most famous and significant American ministers, who also happened to be recognised as the most renowned activist and spokesperson.

He led the civil rights movement from 1955, and very passionately fought against injustice and inequality.

King has written several great books like “I have a dream”, “Where Do We Go from Here”, etc. Some of the most popular and inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. quotes are as follows:

Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.

Lightning makes no sound until it strikes. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

This quote essentially focuses on the fact that if an individual is moving in silence, it does not mean they’re moving slow. Rather, it is always better to work silently without boasting or spreading the word a lot because this will highlight your achievements even more.

Being quiet all along and then coming out with a smash of success is just about the perfect medicine for your haters and enemies.

Besides, big words are of no use until and unless you prove yourself and act on them.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Altruism requires engaging in the act of helping people and being kind and compassionate towards everyone. Selfishness, on the other hand, is rather perilous for oneself as well as for the others but is more self-destructive.

King here asks people to choose between being a good person and leading a quaintly good life or being a bad one and destroying both yourself and other people.

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

All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Being a profound activist, King has always been the leader of the common people and has severely fought against the rather unjust acts of society. He never believed in belittling any profession or job and is asking people to do the same through this quote.

Any service and any kind of labour that helps in the betterment of the society economically, socially, or politically, should be given the same respect and dignity as any other. No job is small, and every job takes time, energy, and hard effort, which is why any and every work should be acknowledged thoroughly and should never be judged.

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.

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. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Until and unless a person rises above petty selfishness and looks beyond his/her personal benefits and gains, they are not considered to be living to the fullest. One can only unlock that level of life when one starts to think about society as a collective and not just oneself and has actual concerns for somebody other than themselves.

The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.

The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Always put quality above quantity because if the former is not satisfactory and good, then the latter is not going to make much of a difference.

The way an individual lives their life is way more important than for how long they live it. People could live their best lives in aa short span, and people with a long life would be doing nothing but existing. This is how important the quality of one’s life is.

A life cannot live.

A life cannot live. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

No matter how clever or treacherous your lie is, it will never be able to overthrow the truth, and the latter will always prevail. The truth is bound to come out regardless of how hard you try to hide or shadow it, for it is the truth that holds the capacity of greatness and growth in the world, and not a lie.

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.

Only in the darkness can you see the stars. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

One cannot view the beautiful stars in the bright light of the day. Darkness needs to take over the day for one to see the stars. In the same way, one cannot excel or shine in life without failures and tough times, for difficulties will only make you stronger and help you grow.

After all, for you to be at your best, you will need to go through the worst.

Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.

Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Hatred not only passes on negative energies to the other person, but it also wastes up a lot of your own time and energy and further tends to convert it into exhaustingly negative energy which is very unhealthy. Hating someone will always cost you of your peace of mind, whereas kindness and compassion cost you nothing and also makes you feel good too. It’s a win-win for both parties!

Rise above futile vendettas and don’t hate on anybody; you can always do better than that.

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

We must accept finite disappointment but, never lose infinite hope. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

One must never lose hope regardless of how difficult times might get for it is that hope which will spark up the will to go on in you when you need it the most. This is because disappointments are only temporary, but the hope is forever.

Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.

Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Forgiving someone tends to reflect on your personality and attitude and speaks about you, not about the other person. Forgiveness will make you feel better too for holding a grudge against somebody and letting hatred take over requires a lot of one’s time as well as energy, and only to worsen it for themselves.

The ultimate tragedy is not oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

The ultimate tragedy is not oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Someone who is not a part of something wrong but chooses to keep silent instead of standing or speaking against it is as bad as someone who is indulging in an unjust or a wrongful act or orchestrating one.

One should not stay quiet and watch something bad happening because an ignorant attitude towards such things is the last thing this world needs.

If you don’t support something evil, then you need to show that you don’t because staying silent is the same as being a part of it.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

King had always been a strict follower of justice and spent his entire life battling against injustice. This quote is not merely an expression of his thoughts and perceptions but is an established fact followed up by his personal and collective experiences.

It is not enough to have justice in scattered parts of the society; until and unless there is no trace of injustice, the goal would be incomplete for injustice anywhere present on any scale is threatening and dangerous for justice everywhere else.

Continue reading some of the inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. quotes.

The time is always right to do what is right.

The time is always right to do what is right. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Doing what is right will never go out of fashion.

One does not need the perfect timing or the best opportunity to do something right because it is always the right time for that. And a person who refuses to believe that and keeps on giving excuses for not being able to do something right is only someone who neither has a sense of wrong and right nor does he/she have the guts to do what is right.

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

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Not hate, not war, or no kind of violence or oppression is capable of turning an enemy into a friend. It is only love that holds the power to heal and transform and to step above the bad aspects of life and focus on the better ones. It is only love that teaches one good values and morals and spreads happiness and positivity in the world.

War and violence are what destroys the world and the people living in it. It is only love that tends to make the world a better place and humans capable of growth and forgiveness.

Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.

Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

One cannot expect the end product or the result to be pure and good if they use evil means or malpractices to reach there. The efforts you put in must be genuine enough if you wish to get your desired results.

We must use time creatively.

We must use time creatively. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

One must always use their time creatively and wisely and should never commit the mistake of taking it for granted because it will prove troublesome for yourself in the long run. Time does not stop for anybody and will surpass you; once it passes, it will never come back to you. This is why one should always be extra careful about where and why they are investing their time and should always respect it.

The better the ways through which you utilise your time, the better result and greater the satisfaction.

No person has the right to rain on your dreams.

No person has the right to rain on your dreams. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Nobody ever has the right to tell you whether your goals are too high or too low, or anything related to your dreams and aims. Never let anybody’s words or actions dishearten your dreams for it is you who has to work for it and achieve it and not them.

Anybody who tries to discourage you or demoralise you is not even worth your time and energy and is simply jealous of your goals as well as of you. If they have the time to talk about other people’s future and goals, then they are certainly not doing anything about their own. Don’t let a person who doesn’t have any aims in their life tell you anything about yours.

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

You cannot possibly achieve justice and freedom through the means of war and hatred. Indulging in acts of violence will only make the goal of making the world a better place, more difficult.

If you wish to enjoy the luxury of freedom, you need to make sure that you work for it in the most genuine and honest way possible and not by becoming a part of something as evil as hatred and revenge.

Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.

Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service. | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

An individual does not need to be famous in order to be great. This is because greatness is measured by service, by the efforts you put in for the betterment of the society and others, by how much are you willing to do for others, and by thinking about others first and about yourself later.

Everyone cannot be popular, but they unquestionably can be great!

Be the peace you wish to see in the world!

Be the peace you wish to see in the world! | Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Change starts from within and around yourself. If you wish to see the world as a better and more progressed place, then start by being a better person yourself first and do all that you can to change your surroundings as well.

If you wish to see peace, avoid carrying the burden of evils such as hatred, violence, and bitterness first, and then ask others to implement it.

Start by small steps, and you will be able to see a prominent change in yourself as well as the world around you.

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes About Love

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

  2. Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war. 

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

  4. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it. 

  5. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. 

  6. When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. 

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

  8. Every genuine expression of love grows out of a consistent and total surrender to God. 

  9. We must discover the power of love, the power, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that we will be able to make of this old world a new world. We will be able to make men better. Love is the only way. 

  10. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. 

  11. 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. 

  12. Love is the most durable power in the world. This creative force is the most potent instrument available in mankind’s quest for peace and security. 

  13. Was not Jesus an extremist in love? – Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you. 

  14. Those of us who love peace must organize as effectively as the war hawks. As they spread the propaganda of war, we must spread the propaganda of peace. 

  15. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. 

  16. Without love, benevolence becomes egotism. 

  17. I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love, I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. 

  18. We must in strength and humility meet hate with love. 

  19. Love even for enemies is the key to the solution of the problems of our world. 

  20. Without love, there is no reason to know anyone, for love will in the end connect us to our neighbors, our children and our hearts. 

  21. I’ve decided to stick with love. 

  22. I have DECIDED to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. GOD is love. 

  23. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love. 

  24. I am convinced that love is the most durable power in the world. It is not an expression of impractical idealism, but of practical realism. 

  25. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up. 

  26. Our lives are not fully lived if we’re not willing to die for those we love, for what we believe. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Violence

  1. The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence. 

  2. Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love. 

  3. The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government, I can not be Silent. 

  4. Nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. 

  5. Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another. 

  6. Violence brings only temporary victories; violence, by creating many more social problems than it solves, never brings permanent peace. 

  7. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. 

  8. The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Courage

  1. The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an economic system, encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish ambition that inspires men to be more concerned about making a living than making a life. 

  2. Faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. 

  3. We must substitute courage for caution. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Education

  1. Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere. 

  2. Education without direction is a one-sided social value. Direct action without education is a meaningless expression of pure energy. 

  3. Education without social action is a one-sided value because it has no true power potential. 

  4. The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals. 

  5. The group consisting of mother, father and child is the main educational agency of mankind. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Peace

  1. Be The Peace You Wish To See In The World! 

  2. The beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold. 

  3. Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. 

  4. Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. 

  5. If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective. 

  6. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. 

  7. We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Equality

  1. Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. 

  2. 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. 

  3. I have a dream, one dream, keep dreaming. Dream of freedom, justice dreaming, dreaming of equality and hopefully no longer required to dream them. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Leadership

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

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

  3. If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

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

  5. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.

  6. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Silence

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

  2. There comes a time when silence is betrayal. 

  3. The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. 

  4. Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people. 

  5. It’s not the violence of the few that scares me, it’s the silence of the many. 

  6. I was not afraid of the words of the violent, but of the silence of the honest. 

  7. 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. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Racism

  1. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. 

  2. 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. 

  3. The problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Freedom

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

  2. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. 

  3. From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, let freedom ring. But not only that: Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. 

  4. Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself... 

  5. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. 

  6. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. 

  7. My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring. 

  8. The road to freedom is a difficult, hard road. It always makes for temporary setbacks. 

  9. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific and religious freedom have always been nonconformists. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes About Change

  1. Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. 

  2. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. 

  3. Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless. 

  4. A social movement that only moves people is merely a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution. 

  5. One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes About Justice

  1. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. 

  2. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. 

  3. Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love. 

  4. Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. 

  5. Without justice, there can be no peace. 

  6. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. 

  7. Injustice and corruption will never be transformed by keeping them hidden, but only by bringing them out into the light and confronting them with the power of love. 

  8. Stand up for justice, stand up for truth; and God will be at your side forever. 

  9. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true. 

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

  11. Justice too long delayed is justice denied. 

  12. Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary. 

  13. It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people. 

  14. Never succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter. As you press for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the instruments of love. 

  15. Justice is love correcting that which revolts against love. 

  16. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity. 

  17. We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters. 

  18. Mankind’s survival is dependent on man’s ability to solve the problems of racial injustice, poverty, and war; the solution of these problems is in turn dependent upon man’s squaring his moral progress with his scientific progress, and learning the practical art of living in harmony. 

  19. A Church that has lost its voice for justice is a Church that has lost its relevance in the world. 

  20. Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. 

  21. Many white Americans of good will have never connected bigotry with economic exploitation. They have deplored prejudice but tolerated or ignored economic injustice. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Character

  1. Judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. 

  2. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. 

  3. We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Service

  1. Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service. 

  2. We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Dream

Here are some to the best Martin Luther King Jr Quotes- I Have a Dream:

  1. I Have a Dream 

  2. No person has the right to rain on your dreams. 

  3. 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. 

  4. If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream. 

  5. I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls. 

  6. 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. 

  7. You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream. 

  8. The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a dreamer has his eyes closed and a visionary has his eyes open. 

  9. I have a dream, one dream, keep dreaming. Dream of freedom, justice dreaming, dreaming of equality and hopefully no longer required to dream them. 

  10. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. 

  11. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. 

  12. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Darkness

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

  2. Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. 

  3. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... 

  4. Darkness cannot be overcome with more darkness, only with light. Violence cannot be overcome with more violence, only with peace. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes About Kindness

  1. If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.

  2. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes on Unity

  1. We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization. 

  2. 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. 

  3. Unity has never meant uniformity. 

  4. The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of nonviolence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community. 

  5. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has consistently refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. 

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes About Segregation

  1. It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning. 

  2. Racial segregation must be seen for what it is, and that is an evil system, a new form of slavery covered up with certain niceties of complexity.

Famous Martin Luther King Jr Quotes and Sayings

  1. 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. 

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

  3. The time is always right to do the right thing. 

  4. There is no gain without struggle. 

  5. 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. 

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

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

  8. Lightning makes no sound until it strikes. 

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

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

  11. A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live. 

  12. Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude. 

  13. Hate destroys the hater. 

  14. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. 

  15. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. 

  16. Let’s build bridges, not walls. 

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

  18. Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself. 

  19. A right delayed is a right denied. 

  20. Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way. 

  21. Be a thermostat not a thermometer. 

  22. 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. 

  23. No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. 

  24. People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other. 

  25. It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it. 

  26. There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right. 

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

  28. Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. 

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

  30. Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last. 

  31. We must use time creatively. 

  32. 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. 

  33. We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. 

  34. We shall overcome. 

  35. Quietly endure, silently suffer and patiently wait. 

  36. Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. 

  37. I may not be the man I want to be; I may not be the man I ought to be; I may not be the man I could be; I may not be the man I truly can be; but praise God, I’m not the man I once was. 

  38. A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent. 

  39. 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. 

  40. To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it. 

  41. One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. 

  42. If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation. 

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

  44. We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action. 

  45. No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they would die for. 

  46. The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die. 

  47. It is cheerful to God when you rejoice or laugh from the bottom of your heart. 

  48. As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation – either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course. 

  49. Whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent. 

  50. If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets as Raphael painted pictures, sweep streets as Michelangelo carved marble, sweep streets as Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. 

  51. You have very little morally persuasive power with people who can feel your underlying contempt. 

  52. The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists. 

  53. I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. 

  54. We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart. 

  55. One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong. 

  56. A lie cannot live. 

  57. Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. 

  58. One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized, cruelly mocked, but it an never be taken away unless it is surrendered. 

  59. What seems so necessary today may not even be desirable tomorrow. 

  60. One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them. 

  61. No one is free until we are all free. 

  62. We are not makers of history. We are made by history. 

  63. Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart. 

  64. Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better. 

  65. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are. 

  66. Truth crushed to earth will rise again. 

  67. Life isn’t worth living until you have found something worth dying for. 

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

  69. Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve. 

  70. If you’ve got nothing worth dying for, you’ve got nothing worth living for. 

  71. Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half of the world. 

  72. We must have the faith that things will work out somehow, that God will make a way for us when there seems no way. 

  73. I’ve been to the Mountaintop. 

  74. I just want to do God’s will. 

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

  76. The end of life is not to be happy, nor to achieve pleasure and avoid pain, but to do the will of God, come what may. 

  77. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. 

  78. We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. 

  79. If you want to be important-wonderful. If you want to be recognized-wonderful. If you want to be great-wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness. 

  80. The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important. 

  81. All life is interrelated. The agony of the poor impoverishes the rich; the betterment of the poor enriches the rich. We are inevitably our brother’s keeper because we are our brother’s brother. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. 

  82. We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor. 

  83. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in. 

  84. A productive and happy life is not something you find; it is something you make. 

  85. Voting is the foundation stone for political action. 

  86. There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is in human will. 

  87. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. 

  88. If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to hell. 

  89. I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. 

  90. My obligation is to do the right thing. The rest is in God’s hands. 

  91. But by all means, keep moving. 

  92. In a real sense faith is total surrender to God . 

  93. There is within human nature an amazing potential for goodness. 

  94. The best way to solve any problem is to remove its cause. 

  95. I came to the conclusion that there is an existential moment in your life when you must decide to speak for yourself; nobody else can speak for you. 

  96. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. 

  97. Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification. 

  98. All men are interdependent. Every nation is an heir of a vast treasury of ideas and labor to which both the living and the dead of all nations have contributed. Whether we realize it or not, each of us lives eternally ‘in the red.’ We are everlasting debtors to known and unknown men and women. 

  99. The surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others. 

  100. Every person must stand up and be accountable, but be responsible for their actions. 

  101. You can’t reach good ends through evil means, because the means represent the seed and the end represents the tree. 

  102. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. 

  103. Be an artist at whatever you do. Even if you are a street sweeper, be the Michelangelo of street sweepers. 

  104. Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. 

  105. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lives a great street-sweeper who did his job well’ 

  106. Through our scientific and technological genius we’ve made of this world a neighborhood. And now through our moral and ethical commitment we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers-or we will all perish together as fools. 

  107. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. 

  108. Whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward! 

  109. Personality is like a charioteer with two headstrong horses, each wanting to go in different directions. 

  110. We stand in life at midnight; we are always at the threshold of a new dawn. 

  111. Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. 

  112. Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. 

  113. Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. 

  114. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. 

  115. So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind – it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact – I can only submit to the edict of others. 

  116. Seeing is not always believing. 

  117. There is little hope for us until we become tough-minded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and down-right ignorance. 

  118. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. 

  119. We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil. 

  120. In Christ there is no East nor West. 

  121. 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. 

  122. 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. 

  123. People with good intentions but limited understanding are more dangerous than people with total ill will. 

  124. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. 

  125. Christianity has always insisted that the cross we bear always precedes the crown we wear. 

  126. Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children. 

  127. The strong man is the man who can stand up for his rights and not hit back. 

  128. Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. 

  129. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. 

  130. Friends are forever Boys are whatever. 

  131. Jazz speaks for life. This is triumphant music. 

  132. A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. 

  133. Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness. 

  134. Normal fear protects us; abnormal fear paralyses us. Normal fear motivates us to improve our individual and collective welfare; abnormal fear constantly poisons and distorts our inner lives. Our problem is not to be rid of fear but, rather to harness and master it. 

  135. Power is the ability to achieve purpose. 

  136. 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. 

  137. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals. 

  138. We all can’t be famous but we can all be great and we become great when we serve others. 

  139. For all of us today, the battle is in our hands. The road ahead is not altogether a smooth one. There are no broad highways to lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions. We must keep going. 

  140. We who in engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. 

  141. It’s not burn baby burn, but learn, baby, learn, so that you can earn, baby, earn. 

  142. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born. 

  143. One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right if the head is totally wrong. Only through the bringing together of head and heart-intelligence and goodness-shall man rise to a fulfillment of his true nature. 

  144. Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. 

  145. We must face the appalling fact that we have been betrayed by both the Democratic and Republican Parties. 

  146. Difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future. 

  147. It all boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. 

  148. There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong. 

  149. But life at its best is a creative synthesis of opposites in fruitful harmony. 

  150. Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority. 

  151. Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection. 

  152. A true revolution of values will see that the western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. 

  153. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. 

  154. The failures of the past must not be an excuse for the inaction of the present and the future. 

  155. An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. 

  156. What I’m saying to you this morning is that Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the Kingdom of Brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of Communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. 

  157. What are you doing for others? 

  158. Mass civil disobedience can use rage as a constructive and creative force. 

  159. If you have not discovered something you are willing to die for, then you are not fit to live. 

  160. Set yourself earnestly to discover what you are made to do, and then give yourself passionately to the doing of it. 

  161. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid or day laborer. 

  162. If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. 

  163. Even if they try to kill you, you develop the inner conviction that there are some things so precious, some things so eternally true that they are worth dying for. And if a person has not found something to die for, that person isn’t fit to live! 

  164. If I wish to compose or write or pray or preach well, I must be angry. Then all the blood in my veins is stirred, and my understanding is sharpened. 

  165. Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. 

  166. We must learn that to expect God to do everything while we do nothing is not faith but superstition. 

  167. We have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifices. Capitalism was built on the exploitation of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor, both black and white, both here and abroad. 

  168. Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper. 

  169. Why is the church always a taillight rather than a headlight? 

  170. Alienation is a form of living death. It is the acid of despair that dissolves society. 

  171. Our eternal message of hope is that dawn will come. 

  172. Find a voice in a whisper. 

  173. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that a system that produces beggars needs to be repaved. We are called to be the Good Samaritan, but after you lift so many people out of the ditch you start to ask, maybe the whole road to Jericho needs to be repaved. 

  174. History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. 

Conclusion

In this article, we will find some of the best Martin Luther King Jr. quotes.These top quotes are based on Humanity, Philanthropy, Forgiveness, Life, etc. 


Co-author:  Khushi Shah 

Khushi has just passed her school and is now studying at PDPU. Apart from writing, she likes to sketch and dance. She also has other blogs where she posts proses and poetry. 


         

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