Martin Luther King, Jr was an American hero who left us too soon. We’ve all heard echoes of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. And, most of us hope for a world where we can all be judged on our character’s content and not the color of our skin.
The world has known but a rare few people who can fan the flames of our hearts quite as eloquently as Martin Luther King, Jr. was able to do. He was the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He was an instrumental figure in getting both the Civil Rights Act & the Voting Rights Act passed. His determination for justice & equality was highlighted by his leadership ability. He was able to lead us to higher ground in our nation’s fight for equality.
Here are just some of his greatest quotes:
“EVERYBODY CAN BE GREAT…BECAUSE ANYBODY CAN SERVE. YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE TO SERVE. YOU DON’T HAVE TO MAKE YOUR SUBJECT AND VERB AGREE TO SERVE. YOU ONLY NEED A HEART FULL OF GRACE. A SOUL GENERATED BY LOVE.”
“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.”
“TRUE PEACE IS NOT MERELY THE ABSENCE OF TENSION. IT IS THE PRESENCE OF JUSTICE.”
“THE ULTIMATE TRAGEDY IS NOT THE OPPRESSION AND CRUELTY BY THE BAD PEOPLE BUT THE SILENCE OVER THAT BY THE GOOD PEOPLE.”
God gives us a greater understanding of the profound wisdom of this man as we honor his life today.
Here’s a link to the full length “Letter from Birmingham Jail“.
From the Birmingham jail, where he was imprisoned as a participant in nonviolent demonstrations against segregation, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote in longhand the letter. His response to a public statement of concern and caution was issued by eight white religious leaders of the South. Dr. King, who was born in 1929, did his undergraduate work at Morehouse College; attended the integrated Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, one of six black pupils among a hundred students, and the president of his class; and won a fellowship to Boston University for his Ph.D.
The Letter from Birmingham is thought-provoking. It pulls at the conscience of everyone who believes we are all created equally. It provokes questions and should prompt action.
I make a habit of reading the full letter at least a couple of times a year. We cannot be reminded too many times that there is more work to be done.
There are so many lessons to be learned by sitting at the feet of the wise, and just taking the time to learn.
I hope you find some inspiration from MLK today.