via The Vancouver Sun
For our neighbours to the south, the third Monday in January is a time to reflect on one of the men who shaped modern America. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day began in 1983, a decade and a half since the civil-rights leader was assassinated. A gifted writer and orator, below is a sampling of his many great quotes, to mark the day:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — From a letter written in a Birmingham Jail in April 1963.
“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.” — From his speech “I Have A Dream” delivered at The Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, 1963.
“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” — From 1963′s “Strength to Love”
“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.” — From “Strength to Love”.
“I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” — From a speech given in Detroit in June, 1963.
“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency ask the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
“From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” — From his speech “I Have A Dream” delivered at The Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, 1963.
“On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” — From a sermon delivered at Riverside Church.
“Whatever your life’s work is, do it well.”
“I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man.” — From a speech delivered in Memphis on April 3, 1968. King was assassinated the next day.