Today we honor and celebrate what MLK did, not only for himself and communities across the United States, but also for the continued discussion around inequalities that still remain present.
I spent the evening reading letters he wrote to church heads, speeches he gave to the public and his overall impact on society through peaceful protest, commitment to the cause and direct action.
Below I am going to share some words of MLK that speak straight to the heart and still inspire what's to come.
- "To think incisively and to think for one's self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern true from false, the real from the unreal and the facts from the fiction. Focusing more on how to think instead of what to think."
- "Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social. And the kingdom of Brotherhood is found in neither, but in a higher synthesis."
- "I see no alternative to direct action and creative nonviolence to raise the conscience of the nation."
- "We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. We must move past indecision to action, now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful struggle for a new world."
- "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly."
- "I have earnestly worked and preached against violence tension, but there is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth."
- "I have now reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klan, but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than justice."
- "Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom; something without has reminded him that he can gain it."
- "Small in number. Big in commitment."
- "I have constantly preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek."
MLK said reasoning wasn't enough. He insisted that character and moral development were both necessary components to give critical intellect humane purposes. That nonviolent tension in society would help us rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism, to the majestic heights of understanding and companionship. May these words continue to inspire and shape the decades to come, aware that when we stand united in Love, we can change the world.