Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. Because of our involvement in humanity we must be concerned about every human being.
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.
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.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
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.
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
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.
Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man.
It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.
The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the creative light of altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgement.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Many white Americans of good will have never connected bigotry with economic exploitation. They have deplored prejudice but tolerated or ignored economic injustice.
We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters.
Injustice and corruption will never be transformed by keeping them hidden, but only by bringing them out into the light and confronting them with the power of love.
But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.
Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper.
Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.
War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.
The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.
Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.
Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.
Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
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.
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
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.
There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.
Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.
When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.
Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
Returning hate for hate multiplies hate.
Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
There are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.
No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil.
I firmly believe that the Gandhian philosophy of nonviolent resistance is the only logical and moral approach to the solution of the race problem in the United States.
If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in the struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.
Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.
The problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.
We have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifices. Capitalism was built on the exploitation of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor, both black and white, both here and abroad.
In the struggle for human rights and justice, Negros will make a mistake if they become bitter and indulge in hate campaigns.
Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.
In some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
When people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.
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.
Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
A social movement that only moves people is merely a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution.
One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying.
We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.
Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.
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.
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.
The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.
I have a dream!
I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.