The world knows the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ’s famous “I have a dream” speech. The idea of judging someone not by the color of their skin has become a defining cultural sentiment.
But Dr. King was also a revolutionary who wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power in soaring rhetoric that remains timeless today. During these difficult times, he still has much to teach us and is a continuing source of inspiration. So, in honor of his birthday, and beyond “I have a dream,” here are 10 of his lesser-known, but amazing prophetic quotes that speak to the present day.
We will be … attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.
The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding. It seeks to annihilate rather than to convert.
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
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.
All too many of those who live in affluent America ignore those who exist in poor America. In doing so, the affluent Americans will eventually have to face themselves with the question that Eichmann chose to ignore: How responsible am I for the well-being of my fellows? To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Softminded persons have revised the Beautitudes to read “Blessed are the pure in ignorance: for they shall see God.” This has led to a widespread belief that there is a conflict between science and religion. But this is not true. There may be a conflict between softminded religionists and toughminded scientists, but not between science and religion. … Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives man wisdom which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary.
We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve.
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.
There comes a time when silence is betrayal.
People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.