Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whether they were heroes, poets, scholars, or leaders, the brightest minds in human history have thought and written about values and their meanings. Here are some inspirational quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr..

forgiveness

“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.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

forgiveness

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is an attitude.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

hard work

“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played 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 streetsweeper who did his job well.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

helping others

“Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

hope

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

love

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

optimism

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

peace

“I have a dream that my four 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.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

perseverance

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

responsibility

“Our children need our presence, not our presents.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

unity

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

unity

“Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

helping others

“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

helping others

“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 your verb agree to serve.... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

believe in yourself

“He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

literacy

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

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

appreciation

“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

vision

“If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

right choices

“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.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

character

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

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

forgiveness

“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.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

justice

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

helping others

“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.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

equality

“I have a dream that my four 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.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
Minister, Civil Rights Activist