The Content of Our Character

i have a dream

I decided to honor Dr. King by posting some of his most memorable quotes. The problem lay not in finding them, but in knowing when to stop! Imagine if he’d lived beyond his brief 39 years; oh, how we need his mitigating, bridge-building voice today! But rather than merely honoring his legacy, let us strive to embody it, to show through our words and, yes, the content of our character, how things could be.

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

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

“It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.”

“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.”

“When I took up the cross I recognized its meaning. The cross is something that you bear, and ultimately, that you die on.”

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

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

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

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Content of Our Character

  1. Mitch, I agree. If only he had more time to teach America what love is.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Truly inspiring, Mitch! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ramonmontoya says:

    The world could use a ton of love. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  4. DC Gilbert says:

    A great post. MLK was a truly great man. It saddens me when I see how many of those who like to invoke his name somehow fail to follow his teachings … many examples of which you have listed here.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Powerful! My wife and I went to the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Alabama is my home state, and this is one of the most informed displays of the past I’ve ever been exposed to. Hauntingly so…

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Reblogged this on lizmilnewriting and commented:
    Such a wisdom here xx

    Liked by 3 people

  7. smzang says:

    Inspired and inspiring

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jo Martin says:

    In Martin Luther King there was a combination of wisdom, dedication, strength and honesty that is rare today. So real, in fact, that it seems non-existent.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. ages74 says:

    “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” this is my favourite! I enjoy the wisdom of others and how they express it. thanks for posting.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I grew up during the height of the Civil Rights movement, and I never, ever thought we would return to the days of institutionalized hatred that Dr. King and others gave their lives to end. I guess each of us needs to heed the clarion call. We ignore it at our peril.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. HAT says:

    Mitch, I would agree with you about Dr. King’s “mitigating, bridge-building voice,” except for my memories of hearing conversations around the dinner table and when visiting relatives and to be honest ones the grown-ups would have after Bible study, and those conversations did not reflect the perception that Dr. King’s voice was “mitigating” or “bridge-building.” Those conversations reflected the perception that people were stepping out of line and making too much out of things and crying wolf and that a lot of King’s Christian talk was illegitimate and mixing religion up in politics and insincere. And I would not say that the white people who raised me were more than averagely virulent racists, either. They were “ordinary” white Americans – middle class, college educated, living in California, church-goers. “People like us” thought yes, probably “things” ought to change, but King was a radical and a trouble-maker and whatever change needed to be made, it didn’t need to make all these waves.

    It’s the hindsight that makes King look benign. I really think that’s important for us to remember.

    I really don’t think the people who raised me could have heard any voice that called for the actual integration of Pasadena High School as mitigating or bridge-building.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Such important words! And as relevant today as they were when first spoken. If only we would learn from them. Thanks, Mitch!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. revruss1220 says:

    Thanks for this great collection of what is, as we know, just a fraction of this man’s wisdom. I am especially challenged by his statements on the theme of “good people remaining silent in the face of injustice.” And Lord, I pray that you might deliver me from my impression that commenting on injustice via social media actually constitutes effective “standing up” to it. AMEN.

    Liked by 3 people

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  16. While the “content of their character” quote is my personal favorite, I too am amazed (and sometimes ashamed) by MLK’s eloquence and insight into the *many* ways that I (and many others) often fail to live up to our best ideals.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. gpavants says:

    Wow! What we say and do not say. God used those words mightly. I am glad the were recorded.

    Liked by 1 person

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