We can choose to use our lives for others to bring about a better and more just world for our children. People who make that choice will know hardship and sacrifice. But if you give yourself totally to the non-violence struggle for peace and justice you also find that people give you their hearts and you will never go hungry and never be alone. And in giving of yourself you will discover a whole new life full of meaning and love.
We have seen the future, and the future is ours.
“The life of the union depends upon more people getting to share the limelight, because with the limelight also comes responsibility and with the responsibility comes a little sharing of the load.” “There isn’t enough money to organize poor people. There never is enough money to organize anyone. If you put it on the basis of money, you’re not going to succeed.”
Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.
We are confident. We have ourselves. We know how to sacrifice. We know how to work. We know how to combat the forces that oppose us. But even more than that, we are true believers in the whole idea of justice. Justice is so much on our side, that that is going to see us through.
In the final analysis it doesn’t really matter what the political system is…We don’t need perfect political systems; we need perfect participation.
Kindness and compassion toward all living things is the mark of a civilized society.
I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us to be men!
Being of service is not enough. You must become a servant of the people. When you do, you can demand their commitment in return.
If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.
Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.
You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.
People who have lost their hunger for justice are not ultimately powerful. They are like sick people who have lost their appetite for what is truly nourishing. Such sick people should not frighten or discourage us. They should be prayed for along with the sick people who are in the hospital. “The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature.”
Grant me courage to serve others; For in service there is true life.
We have suffered unnumbered ills and crimes in the name of the Law of the Land. Our men, women and children have suffered not only the basic brutality of stoop labor, and the most obvious injustices of the system; they have also suffered the desperation of knowing that the system caters to the greed of callous men and not to our needs. Now we will suffer for the purpose of ending the poverty, the misery, and the injustice, with the hope that our children will not be exploited as we have been. They have imposed hungers on us, and now we hunger for justice.
Never, never is it possible to reach someone if you become angry or bitter only love and gentleness can do it. Maybe not this time but maybe the next or the hundredth time.
Our struggle is not easy. Those who oppose our cause are rich and powerful and they have many allies in high places. We are poor. Our allies are few. But we have something the rich do not own. We have our bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons.
The name of the game is to talk to people. If you don’t talk to people, you can’t get started…You knock on twenty doors or so, and twenty guys tell you to go to hell, or that they haven’t got time. But maybe at the fortieth or sixtieth house you find the one guy who is all you need. You’re not going to organize everything; you’re just going to get it started.