Whether it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day or not, MLK Jr.'s quotes are still very useful. Martin Luther King was a great thinker, activist, and orator. He endured hardships related to racial injustices, which ultimately lead to his non-violent resistance through eloquent speaking and writing and peaceful protests.
Though King was assassinated many years ago, his wisdom lives on any time someone quotes his voice and has a conversation. The world still needs the voice of Martin Luther King Jr. Please use these specially selected quotes to have important conversations. May we all have a dream and live to see it come true.
MLK Jr. Quotes for Teachers to Use
The following quotes are especially interesting and useful for teachers. These could be used for any class and can enhance any MLK Jr. activities. Quotes are great for sparking thoughts, questions, and creativity. Use one of these as an opener to gain the interest of students. When they start asking questions, they will gain understanding. Then use these quotes to get students to create something based on their understanding. These quotes can be especially relevant to social studies, literature, and art.
“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“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.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“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, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. ” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“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.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die for.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“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.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes for Counselors
Martin Luther King Jr.'s words of wisdom include come great quotes about love, forgiveness, and inspiration. The following are hand-picked to be used by counselors who may be working with clients on these topics. The love and forgiveness quotes can be used to help heal and move on after being hurt. The inspirational quotes may be helpful for those clients who need hope because they are battling depression or other challenges.
Love and Forgiveness
“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“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.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
"There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive." ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
“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.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“The time is always right to do the right thing” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“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.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“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.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“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.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.