Thinking back on the words and wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
January 17, 2021

Editor’s Note:  The Martin Luther King Parade will take place in Historic Downtown Fernandina on January 18.   Participants gather at the Peck Center beginning at 11:00 a.m. and the parade will begin shortly thereafter.

Had an assassin’s bullet not cut short his life in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., could have celebrated his 92nd birthday this year.  The world revered Baptist minister and civil rights activist lives on through his writings and speeches, which have provided countless leaders with inspiration and hope in the battle against injustice around the world.

As we honor Dr. King on Martin Luther King Day 2021, we offer our readers ten of his quotes, which seem as applicable today as they were when he voiced them over 50 years ago.

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

“The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”

“One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong.”

“No, violence is not the way. Hate is not the way. Bitterness is not the way. We must stand up with love in our hearts, with a lack of bitterness and yet a determination to protest courageously for justice and freedom in this land.”

“We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.”

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