The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most eloquent and effective orators the country has ever produced.
No one can hear the words “I have a dream” and not think of Dr. King, and his tireless fight against discrimination and inequality.
His words on injustice, racism and peaceful protest are well known.
But Dr. King was also a patriot, with the heart and courage of a warrior. Here are 12 of his quotes which could just as easily have come from a soldier in uniform as they did from a man of the cloth.
1. No other nation can mean to us what our nation means.
2. Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.
3. The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.
4. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
5. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
6. We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
7. Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity 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 one must take it because it is right.
8. We are now faced with the fact 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. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.
9. There is nothing more majestic than the determined courage of individuals willing to suffer and sacrifice for their freedom and dignity.
10. Put yourself in a state of mind where you say to yourself, 'Here is an opportunity for me to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary.”
11. 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.
12. Even if they try to kill you, you develop the inner conviction that there are some things so precious, some things so eternally true that they are worth dying for. And if a person has not found something to die for, that person isn't fit to live!