A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. – 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.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. – Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
I have a dream that my four little 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.
I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.
If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.
I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.
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.