Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) lived a short yet important life. He was a Baptist minister who was pivotal in the civil rights movement in America, and I'm amazed at all that he did in his 39 years. Here are just a few of his accomplishments:

• After skipping both 9th and 12th grades, he graduated high school at age 15
• He was ordained a minister at age 19, while still in college
• He wrote six books in a 10-year time period
• In 1957, he formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to fight segregation and achieve civil rights
• In 1959, King visited India to study Mohandas Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence.
• Time Magazine named Martin Luther King Jr. “Man of the Year“ in 1963
• In 1964, at the age of 35, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, making him the youngest man, the second American, and the third black man to be so honored
• He was just 39 when he was assassinated in 1968

Below you can tap into Martin Luther King's wisdom in his own words. You can also read the New York Times obituary here.

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.
Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' Martin Luther King Jr., Speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., this day has been designated a national day of service in the US. Please take this day to consider what you can do to help others -- in your home, your community, and your country.

1 comment:

Silke said...

When I was a young girl learning English, I was sort of obsessed with Martin Luther King Jr. I learned his "I have a dream" speech by heart and felt every word of it. It had as much meaning to me then as it does now. He was an extraordinary man! Thank you for reminding us of his message!! Love, Silke