Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Dr. King

Although the national celebration of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday is next Monday his actual date of birth is January 15, 1929. Born Michael Luther King, Jr., he later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. He would have been 79 years old today. This year is also significant because April 4th will be the fortieth anniversary of his assassination. Although he only graced us with his presence for 39 short years, he left a legacy that is shared throughout the world by millions of people. Rather than dwell on the negative aspects of his death, I will celebrate his life by sharing some quotes from the man himself.

A lie cannot live.

A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.

There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.

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. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Lori said...

Wonderful list PJ! My favorites are 2, 6, 9 & 13. Hey, this would have made an excellent Thursday 13 (smile). In any case, I'll have to share you list with my young one. Thanks!

Beth said...

What a perfect post. As a lifelong Atlantan, I've always been proud to be from Dr. King's city. I watched Talk to Me last night since he was on my mind.

pjazzypar said...

Lori, I think young children should be exposed more to Dr. Kings legacy, He really left us so much and I would like him to be remembered for more than just those streets in rundown neighborhoods that are named after him.

Beth, I have been through, but never actually to Atlanta. I have several relatives in the area and a goal of mine is to get there for a visit sometime soon.

Sandy Carlson said...

The means we use must be a pure as the ends we seek.

That's my keeper for the week. Great post.

The Rock Chick said...

Fabulous post! The man was brilliant.