10 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes to Read Before You Celebrate

martin luther king, jr. Good news, guys. We've got a three-day weekend rapidly approaching. Well, most of us do. And you know who we have to thank for that? (Really, you should.) The great Martin Luther King, Jr. Thanks, MLK! Not just for the day off, but for, you know, all the amazing contributions you've made to society.

So, how about this? Instead of just knocking back a few extra on Sunday night in honor of Monday's holiday, why don't we try to show a little respect? Why don't we act like upstanding citizens and actually think about Martin Luther King, Jr. instead of our free day off? Like, right now.

Here are 10 quotes from the man himself about -- you guessed it -- being an upstanding citizen. (And, you know, just being a nicer person in general.)


10. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

9. Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.

8. An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

7. At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love. Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

6. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies -- or else? The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

5. 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.

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

3. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

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

1. Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.

So, yeah ... it may not be quite so easy for all of us to live our lives with the grace, courage, and aplomb of MLK, but hey, at least it got us thinking for a bit.

Which is your favorite quote? Have any to add?


Image via Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com/Flickr

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