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25 of the Most Memorable Leadership Quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.

martin_luther_king_jrI was living near Mobile, Alabama on the day that Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated.  Back then, the very mention of his name stirred everyone… in one way or another.  Today, with 48 years of hindsight and through his legacy, speeches, and quotes, we are compelled to gratefully acknowledge the great and positive imprint Martin Luther King Jr. left upon our world.

The NSA Was Even Around Back Then

Such were his speeches that his impact could not be ignored.  Interestingly enough, he caused enough waves that the National Security Agency (NSA), which is currently in the news for spying, monitored MLK’s communications through their “Minaret” program!

MLK’s Impact – Cause for Celebration

Today we choose to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, one of our more recent federal holidays.  It’s a reminder of the life and achievements of one of our most influential American civil rights leaders.  In a recent Gallup poll, he place second in a “List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.” It’s easy to see why there are more that 730 cities across the United States have streets named in his honor.

25 of the Most Memorable Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Quotes

Today, I just wanted to leave you with 25 of MLK’s more memorable leadership quotes.  And mind you, these are from the master orator himself! So let them sink in…

  1. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
  2. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  3. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
  4. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
  5. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
  6. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
  7. Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
  8. 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.
  9. A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
  10. We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
  11. Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
  12. Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
  13. The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.
  14. A right delayed is a right denied.
  15. I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.
  16. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
  17. The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’
  18. Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
  19. 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.
  20. 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. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.
  21. If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
  22. The time is always right to do the right thing.
  23. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
  24. Almost always the creative, dedicated minority has made the world better.
  25. We cannot walk alone.  And…

And Of Course… Among MLK’s Most Famous Quotes: “I have a dream”…

Martin Luther King literally had a dream. It became a driving passion in his life. In fact, his 17 minute speech entitled “I Have a Dream” is considered to be one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory. You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs.

Books

If you want to know more about the Martin Luther King Jr., and his life, check out the following books:

                       

Discussion Question:  What is your favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote.  Why?   Share it below in the comments section.

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