If Martin Luther King Jr. was alive today, he would probably make the observation that we've come a long way as a country, yet we still have a ways to go.
Anyone with a Facebook profile would probably agree with my last statement, but the good news is we've definitely made progress since the days of the American civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s.
Martin Luther King Jr. was arguably the most visible spokesman and leader during that movement up until his assassination in 1968—and while many know Dr. King for his famous "I have a dream" speech, his legacy included so many other incredible quotes, including how MLK wanted to be remembered.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don't want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want them to say...I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say, on that day, that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
As we continue to honor one of the most iconic figures in American history, here are 17 amazing MLK quotes for you that aren't heard that often, but speak volumes on Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision for us to live in a world of peace, love, harmony, and equality.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
“There is nothing more majestic than the determined courage of individuals willing to suffer and sacrifice for their freedom and dignity.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”
“All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
“Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
"Without love, there is no reason to know anyone, for love will in the end connect us to our neighbors, our children and our hearts."
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“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.”
“I have decided to stick to love … Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“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.”
“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.”
“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But, whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
“You know, a lot of people don’t love themselves. And they go through life with deep and haunting emotional conflicts. So the length of life means that you must love yourself. And you know what loving yourself also means? It means that you’ve got to accept yourself.”
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”
“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.”
“Another way that you love your enemy is this: When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it. There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life. That’s the time you must do it. That is the meaning of love.”
“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?
Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.