Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’ve never really paid much attention to MLK. I’ve read his “I Have a Dream” speech several times and I am generally aware of his marches and his non violent demonstrations. This morning I went and looked at some of his other speeches throughout the years. He could motivate, inspire and persuade better than anyone in the 20th century. Here are three of my favorite quotes:

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

“In the end, we will be remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”

Then there is the quote that follows which holds particular significance for me. I was privileged to know a great black woman named Eather Peachlin. Eather was as sweet and gentle a soul as there was. She lived with the sting of racism her entire life. Somehow she was never bitter, but rather always hopeful. I remember when I was in law school she asked me once how I was doing. I replied: “I’m doing great.” She smiled and said: “That’s fine. But are you doing good?” So, here is the final quote from MLK, Jr in honor of Eather:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others.”

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