As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., I’m drawn to some of his most famous quotes. I love quotes! In fact, I have several word documents with my quotes in categories… friends, encouragement, joy, etc. As I read over Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quotes, I thought, “What makes someone important enough that people read, copy, and share their personal words?”
In the case of Martin Luther King, Jr. it was his contributions to the cause of civil rights in our country. But, it was not only his contributions; it was his attitude and methods that allowed him to stand above the rest!
As a man of faith, he knew love was the main way for people’s hearts to change. And once their hearts were changed, hopefully their attitudes and actions would change. One of my favorite MLK, Jr. quotes is: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
According to Wikipedia, Martin Luther King, Jr. was also known as “one of the greatest orators in American history”. His “I Have A Dream” speech became household words for many as he spoke, “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.” He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for “combating racial inequality through nonviolence”, as stated in Wikipedia.
As a woman who grew up in those years, I have memories of the Civil Right’s Movement. I have memories of watching Martin Luther King, Jr. and others marching for freedoms I took for granted. I have memories of the riots in Detroit that forced curfews in my hometown of Ypsilanti, MI. Unfortunately, I also have memories of the fatal shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the sadness and loss of hope it brought to many.
As we approach the 50-year mark of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, I use this national holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday to look at my own life. Do I love other people as God loves them? Do I live this out showing love to others and treating them with respect? Instead of using this as just a day off school or work, I hope you, too, will ponder these questions.“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968)