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Top 100 Martin Luther King Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year. Dr. King’s birthday is January 15. 

   

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent and civil disobedience based on his inspirations from Henry David Thoreau’s publication “Civil Disobedience” and Gandhi. Dr. King first learned of Gandhi’s concept of nonviolence as a seminary student. Dr. King was influenced by teachings of Gandhi on non-violent activism. He adopted the teachings and used non-violent resistance for the African-American struggle for civil rights.

  

Let’s honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday by learning more about him and looking at Dr. King’s quotes on Perseverance and Resilience.

   


   

RESILIENCE is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; having the toughness;
Having a positive mindset of no matter what has happened, what I do now. We can either be taken down by the events or rise above them.

In simple words resilience is the ability and tendency to “bounce back.” Bounce back means when we face challenges, failure, disappointment that instead of giving up or losing hope, we are able to get back up and find a to go on.  READ MORE 

  


   

Dr. King showed qualities of leadership and Resilience. One of key variables of Resilience is Optimism. Dr. King showed one of basic beliefs of optimism that good thinks will happen and even in uncertain times to expect the best.

In 1955, when Dr. King heard about Rosa Parks being arrested, Dr. King saw the challenge of Rosa Parks event as an opportunity and instead of giving up he looked at what he as a leader could do; he turned the event into a fight for equality.

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes:

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.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s April 1960 address at Spelman College

   

Dr. King's Quotes

Quotes on HOPE:

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

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“We will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”

From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s famous August 1963 “I Have a ” speech

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“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.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Dr. King on LOVE:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Strength to Love

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

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.”

written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a rare handwritten letter he penned in the mid-1960s.

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

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Start your day with a Positive Quote

“You know, a lot of people don’t love themselves. And they go through life with deep and haunting emotional conflicts. So the length of life means that you must love yourself. And you know what loving yourself also means? It means that you’ve got to accept yourself.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

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

From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Strength to Love

“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.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s famous August 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s April 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 “Forgiveness is not an occasional . It is a permanent attitude.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1963 book, Strength to Love.

 “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“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.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. 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.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“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.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in , solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 “If one loves an individual merely on account of his friendliness, he loves him for the sake of the benefits to be gained from the friendship, rather than for the friend’s own sake. Consequently, the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s November 1967 “The Domestic Impact of the War in Vietnam” speech.

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

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

 “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 “Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, “Love or perish.” Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1967 “Where Do We Go From Here?” address.

“I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Where do we go from here?” address.

“We must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Where do we go from here?” address.

“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’

If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there.

But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

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

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother in law.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“A right delayed is a right denied.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“In some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“We shall match your capacity to inflict by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will. And we shall continue to love you.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop… I’ve looked over 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.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 “For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“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.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

“The beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

“Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love…violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s December 1964 Nobel lecture.

“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.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1967 Christmas sermon on peace.

“There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“A lie cannot live.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“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.” From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s February 1968 “A Proper Sense of Priorities” speech.

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” – From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1957 book Stride Toward Freedom

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1956 “The Most Durable Power” sermon

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

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