Today’s a day when we all like to quote “I Have a Dream,” and really, you can’t go wrong with that. But some of my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr., quotes come from Strength to Love, a collection of sermons, composed in the thick of the civil rights struggle, about non-violence, forgiveness, and the radical pursuit of the teachings of Christ.
It seems especially resonant after the last couple of weeks.
A few of my favorite passages:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.
Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude.
If you have a favorite quote or passage from MLK, Jr., feel free to post it today in the comments.