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Martin Luther King, Jr.

(1929 - 1968)


American Clergyman, Activist, African-American Civil Rights Leader, Assassinated

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
A life is sacred. Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on; it is not man.
A man can't ride your back unless it's bent.
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard.
Agape is not a weak, passive love. It is love in action? Agape is a willingness to go to any length to restore community? It is a willingness to forgive, not seven times, but seventy times seven to restore community?. If I respond to hate with a reciprocal hate I do nothing but intensify the cleavage in broken community. I can only close the gap in broken community by meeting hate with love.
Agape means understanding, redeeming good will for all men. It is an overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless, and creative. It is not set in motion by any quality or function of its object? Agape is disinterested love. It is a love in which the individual seeks not his own good, but the good of his neighbor. Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes. It is an entirely ?neighbor-regarding concern for others,? which discovers the neighbor in every man it meets. Therefore, agape makes no distinction between friends and enemy; it is directed toward both. If one loves an individual merely on account of his friendliness, he loves him for the sake of the benefits to be gained from the friendship, rather than for the friend?s own sake. Consequently, the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution.
Alienation is a form of living death. It is the acid of despair that dissolves society.
All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.