Jewish Journal


January 18, 2010

Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.


A young woman in her early twenty’s recently admitted to me her struggle in seeing her future. She has yet to figure out her calling. She is a beautiful young woman who is in the course of trying to decipher what step to take next with her life. She said this sentence that I imagine many others might think (during this economic environment) but dare to say.  She said:

“Life is one big burden.” 

I propose to notice the beauty and the possibility in the day rather than the encumbrance of worries, or the onus of new responsibilities that come with living on one’s own, paying bills, or figuring out one’s future. Fear is a very powerful emotion. And if we let it, it can overtake our lust for life.  Here are some quotes said by Martin Luther King Jr. that I do hope will give us all the inspiration to seize the day and see life with new possibilities:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
“I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.”
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
“I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.”
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
“Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.”
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
“The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“We must use time creatively.”


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