Martin Luther King's 70 best quotes

Martin Luther King is one of the most influential figures of modernity. Famous quotes and quotes by Martin Luther King. Below we present a series of seventy sentences by Luther King that allow us to visualize and deepen their thinking and way of understanding life and society.

Martin Luther King's 70 best quotes

Martin Luther King is one of the most influential figures of modernity. This American Baptist pastor is especially known for his important role in defending the rights of the black population of the United States, fighting racial segregation and participating in protests against conflicts such as the Vietnam War.

He proposed an unarmed struggle, conducting numerous marches in defense of civil rights and achieving the enactment of laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 64. His thinking is prolific and inspired many people to fight for their rights and pursue their dreams both during his life as after his death, killed. 

In this article you will find a selection of the best phrases of Martin Luther King.

Below we present a series of seventy sentences by Luther King that allow us to visualize and deepen their thinking and way of understanding life and society.

1. I dream that one day, in the red hills of Georgia, the children of the former slaves and the children of the former slave owners can sit together at the brotherhood table
In this part of his mythical speech, King reflects his desire to achieve equality between Caucasians and African Americans and end racial segregation and differences between people with different skin color.

2. I have a dream, a single dream, keep dreaming. Dream about freedom, dream about justice, dream about equality and hopefully I no longer needed to dream them
In this sentence, the pastor expresses his desire to achieve equality and justice among people. It is a slogan of pro-equality movements that stand against  racism.

3. Your truth will increase as you know how to hear the truth of others
This phrase refers to the need to listen, value, accept and take into account the positions of others regardless of whether they resemble or contradict their own in order to have a more impartial vision and a greater perspective on things.

4. The worrying thing is not the wickedness of the wicked but the indifference of the good
There are people who do not accept positions other than their own, who want to impose themselves and even who will try to harm others by crushing their integrity and their rights. However, if those who do not share this point of view do not act to stop them and protect the rights of others, they are being complicit and allowing them to succeed despite in principle opposing their performance.

5. We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope
The events of life can harm us and disappoint our expectations but we must never lose hope.

6. Darkness cannot undo darkness: only light can do it
It is not possible to end violence with more violence , but it is necessary to work from peaceful peace, disobedience and resistance and dialogue.

7. If man has not discovered anything to die for, he is not worth living
Having something to fight for and live for, and for what we could give our lives, is essential for this pastor of the Baptist church.

8. What you get with violence can only be maintained with violence
With this phrase King expresses his belief that social achievements and struggles are gained from nonviolent actions.

9. A man does not measure his height in moments of comfort, but in times of change and controversy
A person's worth is manifested in bad times, when he must test his beliefs and aptitudes.

10. Freedom is never voluntarily granted by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the one who is being oppressed.
True freedom is what is achieved despite the challenges and impediments, not what is granted as a simple whim that can come and go as the oppressor craves.

11. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter
King indicates in this sentence that we must fight for what matters to us and not give in to difficulties and impediments.

12. We must build dams of courage to contain the avalanche of fear
Fear paralyzes us and can lead us not to act or act in a manner contrary to what we would like. It is necessary to face our fears.

13. The time comes when silence is betrayal
Again the author of this phrase expresses the need not to consent to the actions of those who abuse and destroy the rights of others, because silence makes them able to do what they want and makes us indirect accomplices of their actions by allowing them to harm to others.

14. I look for the day when people are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character
We should not judge people by their physical characteristics , but by their actions and how they act with others.

15. One of the biggest problems in our society is that the concept of love and power has always been seen as opposites.
Power and love has traditionally been seen as opposites, but in reality they should act together in order to obtain an efficient and fair performance towards the citizens.

16. Power without love is abusive and oppressive, while love without power is anemic and too permissive
The power exercised without love is despot and does not care for others, while love without power is not capable of being decisive or acting.

17. It is always the right time to do what is right
What must be done must be done regardless of the moment, without looking for excuses.

18. Peace is not only a distant goal we seek, but in the middle by which we reach that goal
King proposed the use of peaceful methods to fight for civil rights. It is not an end but also a means to achieve other objectives.

19. Only in the dark can you see the stars
Only those who have suffered are able to value the small things and the moments of peace and happiness. Through suffering we learn to fight and dream about goals and objectives.

20. If I help only one person have hope, I will not have lived in vain
Seeking good for others, defending their rights or even simply making someone dream or smile, even if it only affects one person, can give meaning to a lifetime.

21. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend
One of the most powerful forces, love can lead us to change our perception of others and accept their views.

22. If I knew that the world ends tomorrow, I would still plant a tree today
Do not give up hope even though things may get bad. You always have to fight for what we want.

23. Injustice anywhere is a threat to anyone's justice
The fact that the rights of people in one place are not respected poses a threat to all.

24. If you can't fly, run. If you can not run, walk. If you can not walk, crawl. But whatever you do, always keep moving forward
We always have to move forward, even if we have to go slowly and the road is full of difficulties.

25. I'm not black, I'm a man
In this phrase King reflects that we are all people regardless of our skin color or condition.

26. Nothing is forgotten more slowly than an offense and nothing faster than a favor
What they do for us is often quickly forgotten by most people, while what is done against it usually endures in the mind and is put in the face and used to justify hostilities.

27. Whatever the work of your life, do it well. A man must do his job so well that the living, the dead and the unborn could not do better
The vocation and effort must be constant, whatever we do. If we are passionate about something, we must apply to it with all our efforts.

28. The first question asked by the priest and the Levite was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I don't stop to help this man man, what will happen to him? ”
Often fear is what stops us from fighting for the rights of others even if we think they should have them. However, we must ask ourselves what will happen to the people we decide not to help and the consequences of our inaction.

29. I have decided to bet on love. Hate is too heavy a burden
Although hating the one who hurts us can be easy, it is a heavy burden that leads us to harm each other. Although it may require more effort, forgiveness and love can lead us to achieve our goals in peace and free from the chain of hate.

30. Nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force that is made for social transformation
Sometimes nonviolence is understood as the absence of action and is considered ineffective when making changes. However, great transformations have been achieved through this force due to the manifestation of values, beliefs and intentions that can be expressed through its application without causing damage to the opposite position.

31. Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see all the stairs
Through faith and hope, the human being is able to face the unknown and act despite not being able to predict what will happen.

32. In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of friends
Enemies can harm us, but what will really affect us is the passivity of those we love in the face of their own suffering.

33. Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle
Achievements and the search for justice are not achieved without effort.

34. There comes a time when one must take a position that is not safe, political, or popular. But one must take it because it is the right one
King urges us to do the right thing and the right thing even though this is not socially acceptable or can cause us harm.

35. We have learned to fly like birds, to swim like fish: but we have not learned the simple art of living as brothers

The human being has achieved considerable milestones in different areas. But even today we continue to treat each other with contempt and attack each other.

36. Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city from wealth and comfort, from the inner city of poverty and despair are crushed by the blows of the forces of justice
This phrase proposes to fight for justice and equality among all human beings.

37. Nothing a man does disgraces him more than allowing himself to fall so low as to hate someone
Hate causes our lowest passions to come out and the desire for bad things to happen to the hated. The person who hates centers his being on emotions and feelings that debase him and distorts his performance. In fact, hate is one of the main reasons why many crimes are committed.

38. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity
The lack of knowledge regarding an element or aspect of reality causes that element to be dismissed, ignored or even attacked. We fear what we do not know, and such fear often leads to rejection.

39. Despite our efforts, we have not had victories that shake the earth, but neither have we been defeated.
The process of combating racial segregation was long and convulsive, full of difficulties. However, the fact that people did not give up was what made many people begin to assess the situation differently and express their opinion.

40. The best way to solve any problem is to eliminate its cause
Martin Luther King expresses the need to focus not on the problem in question, but on the cause that generates it, so that both the specific problem and possible regrowths or new problems are solved.

41. An individual has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all mankind
Being able to see and fight for the needs of others and set aside our own allows us to move forward in life and in the improvement of the community and society.

42. Intelligence plus character. That is the goal of true education
Education should seek to promote not only intellectuality , but also help build character, foster positive values ​​and strengthen the ability to strive for what we want and what we believe.

You may be interested: " Educational psychology: definition, concepts and theories "
43. Submission and tolerance is not the moral path, but often the most comfortable
It is easy to submit and follow what we are told, but we will often have to fight and act against the dictates if we want to improve the world and society.

44. If a man is called to be a sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted, or as Beethoven composed music or as Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the streets so well that all the armies of heaven and earth can stop and say: here lived a great sweeper who did his job well
All the works are worthy and, if that is what we are passionate about, it must be carried out with the maximum efficiency and with the maximum possible effort. We have to give our best in whatever we do.

45. Almost always the creative dedicated minority has made the world better
Minorities are always those that promote a change in society, especially those that create and introduce new elements that have not been taken into account by the majority.

46. ​​I have three dangerous dogs: ingratitude, pride and envy. When they bite they leave a deep wound
King indicates in this sentence some of the elements that pose a danger in achieving a fair and equal society.

47. The hope of a safe and livable world lies in disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and fraternity
Those who fight for justice are those who can achieve a fair, equal and secure future for all.

48. Wars are poor chisels to forge peaceful mornings
Violence is hardly going to generate peace , and when it is achieved it is only temporary.

49. When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which is in stark contrast to his scientific and technological abundance
The current human being has advanced greatly in technical aspects and knowledge, but nevertheless he is increasingly individualistic, egocentric, materialist and conformist.

50. Beware of violence, whether expressed by tongue, fist or heart
King always opposed violence, which he considers to be nothing and useless and unnecessary whatever his form of expression.

51. Violence creates more social problems than it solves
In line with the previous sentence, we are told that much of the problems that may arise are derived from violence even when it is applied to try to solve problems.

52. The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict
King criticizes the attitude of those who do not take a position regarding important situations because they prefer to ignore what happens.

53. No one will ride on us if we don't bend our backs
This phrase urges us not to allow ourselves to submit. We must not let others place us below them or bend our rights.

54. Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dams that block the flow of social progress
Although the initial intention of the law is to create a fairer world, this is usually rigid and hardly modifiable, so when it does not achieve this justice it can be an impediment when it comes to introducing changes or social improvements that allow its original objective.

55. He who is unable to forgive is unable to love
We all harm others, voluntarily or involuntarily, to others. Whoever loves must be able to forgive the beloved . If we cannot forgive, we will have stopped being able to love.

56. Take your first step now. You don't need to see the whole path. Just take the first step. The rest will appear as you walk
The well-known Baptist pastor urges us with this phrase to dare to act despite not knowing where that action will lead us.

57. Love your enemies
If we want to agree, it is necessary to establish an understanding, and for that it is necessary that the one who is considered an enemy becomes a friend. We need to be able to forgive and love even those who hurt us.

58. It doesn't matter how much you live but how you live. If you live well and die young, you may have contributed more than one person until the age of eighty concerned only with yourself
The time we live is not the important thing, but what we do with it to contribute to a better world.

59. Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal
The right and the legal don't always go hand in hand. Many laws have been created, modified and used for the benefit of one or a few and to the detriment of others ignoring what is fair. That is why sometimes it must be fought to achieve such justice even if it goes against what is established by law.

60. No lie lives forever
However long the lie may be, at some point some will seek the truth. However long the injustice may be, it will end up being defeated by those who seek justice.

61. People fail to get along because they fear; they fear because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they haven't communicated
Martin Luther King reflects in this sentence the need to communicate and establish contact between the different people and groups so that we learn from each other and realize that deep down we are similar, thus moving away fear towards others. .

Related article: " The 28 types of communication and their characteristics "
62. We have to talk with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we have to talk
We may not know everything and perhaps our perception may be partly wrong, but we must pronounce ourselves and show our posture.

63. Returning hate by hate multiplies hate, adds deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars.
Hatred and violence only generate more hate and violence, so responding to them in the same way only enlarges and prolongs the original problem.

64. Black lives on a lonely island of poverty, in the middle of an immense ocean of material prosperity
The situation of the black population at that time was dramatic: they were attacked, less valued, less paid and practically ignored by the majority of the population, in addition to having very little access to studies, high-paying jobs or high positions in the social ladder. In fact, even marriage between people of different races was prohibited and punishable by law.

65. Dig a tunnel of hope through a dark mountain of despair
Many people fall into despair and give up, stop fighting. It is necessary to overcome this feeling and hope in order to cope with and overcome situations.

66. To have enemies it is not necessary to declare a war; just say what you think
Expressing your thoughts and beliefs can lead to the enmity of those who do not understand them or see them as a threat to their own, although they should not be censored.

67. Those who do not seek happiness are more likely to find it, because those who seek it forget that the safest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.
This phrase indicates that those who persecute at all costs be happy tend to focus on themselves and leave everything else aside, when in reality a large part of the moments of happiness occur when we try to make others happy.

68. Never, never be afraid to do the right thing, especially if the welfare of a person or animal is at stake. The punishments of society are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way
We must fight for what we believe is right, even if it involves a breach of legality and a penalty for it.

69. Segregation is a cancer in the political body, which must be eliminated before our democratic health can be accomplished. Segregation is bad because it is nothing more than a new form of slavery concealed with certain subtleties of complexity. Segregation is bad because it is a system of adultery perpetuated by an illicit relationship between injustice and immorality. And in Birmingham, Alabama, and throughout the South and across the country, we are simply saying that we will no longer be able to sell our birthright to freedom for a plate of segregated lentils.
In these phrases, King reflects what segregation represents, the weariness of the African-American population and their intention to fight against the injustice it entails.

70. Love is the most lasting power in the world. This creative force, so well exemplified in the life of our Christ, is the most powerful instrument available in the search for humanity for peace and security.
In this phrase by Martin Luther King, the importance of love is expressed as the main force that moves the world towards the search for the common good and that seeks justice and peace.

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