Martin Luther King Jr. spoke eloquently and convincingly about equality, freedom, social justice, courage, family, friendship, forgiveness, and love. Martin Luther King Day is a holiday meant to inspire and commemorate his life and work and you can do both by sharing some of his quotes. They are as relevant and applicable today as they were decades ago, and are a perfect way to remember King as we celebrate his moving legacy.

What makes the Martin Luther King Jr. quotes so special is that we can see directly the impact they have had on the world. King showed us that words matter, that they can bring about change and unite a nation of people. He taught us that to fight injustice, we must always be speaking out, that “our lives begin to end the day we are silent about the things that matter.”

Using King’s words as ours, we promise we’ll never shut up. He reads his works, listens to his speeches and internalizes his message. If there is one thing the world will always need, it is the power of the word. These are some of his best thoughts: ideas and words full of wisdom.

  1. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”


2. “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscious stupidity.”


3. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”


4. “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who lacks the power to forgive, he lacks 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 likely to hate our enemies. “


5. “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.”


6. “Change does not roll on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”


7. “What is wrong with the world today is that the nations of the world are embroiled in a bitter and colossal competition for supremacy.”


8. “I maintain that an individual who breaks a law that his conscience tells him is unjust and who voluntarily accepts the prison sentence to awaken the community’s conscience about his injustice, is actually expressing the highest respect for the law.”


9. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”


10. “Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred more than love … Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”


11. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”


12. “The most persistent and urgent question in life is: ‘What are you doing for others?’


13. “Intelligence plus character: that is the goal of true education.”


14. “We can extract from the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”


15. “The hope for a secure and livable world resides in disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood”