Lessons Learned from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We all hear his quotes, but do we understand the meaning behind them?

Quote 1:

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

It seems like we are always trying to find ways to get people to do something for us. But what this quote teaches us is that helping people is something we should do daily.  A similar quote is from President John F Kennedy“Ask not what your Country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your Country”.

Quote 2:

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

It’s easy to let your disappointments weigh you down. The real trick is to realize that life is full of endles possibilites and your ability to move forward through doubt, setbacks and obstacles will determine if you succeed.

Quote 3:

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

A society can only progress when people learn that getting along and working towards the common good is ultimately best. There are always tensions that seem to separate society. I say “We must learn to create bridges to unite and not walls to divide”.

Quote 4:

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

This quote is very similar to the first quote mentioned in this post. We must decide what type of person we are. Are we the person that sacrifices something for another, or are we the type of person that simply wants but doesn’t give?

Quote 5:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

One of his most famous quotes highlights a common hope for us all. We all want our children to grow up in a society that doesn’t judge them. We want our kids to play in the park without fear and go to school without being bullied.

The Takeaway

Quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are memorable and profound but also need to be studied and practiced on a daily basis. It is easy to read or hear the words but is something completely different to live life by them.