6 Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes We All Can Learn From

Few figures throughout history have the impact of Martin Luther King, Jr. He stood out with his gentle and soft-spoken demeanor,  but perhaps his most striking quality was his persistence. He continually fought for equal rights but never with violence. Instead, he used words to propel a nation into action. He inspired change by living by the words he spoke.

Today we remember him. We remember a person who represented kindness, acceptance, and true character during a time of cultural tumult. Perhaps, we can be the same positive interaction in someone’s life and our own society.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”1 Strength to Love, 1963

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”2 — Where Do We Go From Here, 1967

“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.”3

“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.”4  —from speech before a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, October 26, 1967

“The time is always right to do what is right.”4from Oberlin College Commencement speech, 1965

“Courage faces fear and thereby masters it. Cowardice represses fear and is thereby mastered by it.5  


  1. National Park Service. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Quotations. https://www.nps.gov/mlkm/learn/quotations.htm

2. The King Center. 16 Nov 2012. Blog: MLK Quote of the Week.     http://www.thekingcenter.org/blog/mlk-quote-week-sticking-love

3. Waters, Katha. 20 Nov 2012. Blog: MLK Quote of the Week. http://www.thekingcenter.org/blog/mlk-quote-week-good-and-evil-all-us

4. Biography. 17 Famous and Inspiring Quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. https://www.biography.com/news/martin-luther-king-famous-quotes

5. Waters, Katha. 13 Sept 2012. Blog: MLK Quote of the Week.  http://www.thekingcenter.org/blog/mlk-quote-week-building-dikes-courage

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