However you choose to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday this year, be sure to have your celebration include sharing some of his wisdom with your sons and daughters. Here are some of his well known messages and some not so well known, all of which remain so powerful and relevant today. Enjoy!
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
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.
Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.
I said to my children, ‘I’m going to work and do everything that I can do to see that you get a good education. I don’t ever want you to forget that there are millions of God’s children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don’t want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be.
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.
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo 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 street sweeper who did his job well.
There is no gain without struggle.
Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
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.
Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.
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.
No person has the right to rain on your dreams.
The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.
The time is always right to do the right thing.
There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.
Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.
Put yourself in a state of mind where you say to yourself, “Here is an opportunity for me to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary.”