Words To Live By And Inspired By The Late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Today is the day that we stop and remember a man with a soul and spirit that was like no other. Today we celebrate a man of true vision, who saw for his children and our children a world without hate and prejudice. I hope that one day his vision can come true. As a mom, there are many things that you want to teach your child. Tolerance. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Patience. These are not easy qualities to instill in a child, but there are some of us that take this as a great responsibility and work very hard to be sure that our children learn these truly important life lessons.
There are of course, “the others”. These are the parents, who do not know the value of embracing what makes us different and shunning what makes us all the same. I struggle with my daughter some days. I have raised her in her 12 years of life to accept people for who they are & how they treat others, not what they look like or what clothes they wear. I have taught her to rejoice in the things that set her apart from the rest – to march to the beat of her own drum, and to never be ashamed to be different. It is heartbreaking when she comes home from school and she’s sad because she thinks and has been told that the other students think she is weird. It is crushing to see her spirit crumble, and yet with a big smile I always tell her, “You are weird. I’m weird. And it’s awesome!” I remind her that I, her mother, whom she holds in such a high place of honor in her world, the woman who she thinks is the most beautiful woman in the world, I AM A DORK! I am the geeky chick in the pony tail and glasses. I am the flute toting band geek. The theater nerd. The A-V dork. I am Perfectly Flawed, and I AM OK with that! I try every day to make certain that my daughter knows that there are people in this world that will accept you for WHO YOU ARE, not what you look like, what you wear, or the kind of car you drive. I make certain that she knows that she should NEVER be the cookie cutter child, and that she should ALWAYS embrace the things that make her different – the things that set her apart, because it is these things that make her who she is. It is these things that will shape her into the incredible woman that I know she will become, and it is these things that make me love her more than anything else in the entire world.
In honor of his extraordinary vision, I am going to share some quotes from Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes that speak straight to my core. And quotes that I hope will make you think…
“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.”
“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.”
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo 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.”
“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.”
“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
“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.”
“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”
“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. In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.”