Recent history has seen examples of inspired leadership in the lives of people like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr. who is remember on the third Monday every January in the United States. Each of these leaders had to face enormous challenges in a struggle against institutionalized injustice. In their own way, each of them used innovative expressions of the same vision: One Family under God. As expressed in America’s founding Declaration, that “All men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” these dreamers overcame what was seen as the impossible in order to bring reconciliation and forgiveness to a society plagued with divisive doctrines.
Here are quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that remain just as relevant today as they did half a century ago to inspire you in 2020.
“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
“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.”
“He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”
“It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”