23 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes to Inspire Hope, Kindness, and Love

Inspire your students with these powerful quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

Every January, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and the hope he’s brought to millions of people over the years. This year, we decided to look high and low to find quotes by this influential man to keep his legacy going strong. You’ve probably heard some of these before, but we also hope you find some new ones in the bunch to inspire both you and your students.

1. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”

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

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

4. “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

5. “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”

6. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

7. “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

8. “The time is always right to do the right thing.”

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

10. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

11. “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

12. “We’ve learned to fly the air like birds. We’ve learned to swim the seas like fish. And yet we haven’t learned to walk the Earth like brothers and sisters.”

13. “Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”

14. “There is no gain without struggle.”

15. “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.”

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

17. “Find a voice in a whisper.”

18. “We must use time creatively—and forever realize that the time is always hope to do great things.”

19. “I have decided to stick to love … hate is too great a burden to bear.”

20. “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.”

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

22. “Seeing is not always believing.”

23. “So even though we face difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”

Stacy Tornio

Posted by Stacy Tornio

Stacy Tornio is a senior editor with WeAreTeachers. Nearly everyone in her family is a teacher. So she decided to be rebellious and write about teachers instead.

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