MLK Day Thoughts

I’m enjoying a quiet King holiday, loving the space to be quiet, but also feeling compelled to share or contribute to the powerful reminder of King’s work that this day provides. I’m a natural introvert who believes strongly in community, so some days I stay home to recharge so that I can engage more completely when I return. This is my attempt to do both.

I used to love to open my Tao Te Ching at any page and see how whatever was on the page would relate to my life and if there was something I could do about it. Of course, you can do that with any source and King is a great place to start. These short quotes below are an abbreviated source of inspiration points. They don’t all completely relate to each other, but it’s where I went starting with the “If you can’t fly…” *

Happy New Year to you all! May you have deep explorations and loving conversations, which lead us all to the better world that King imagined.

Love and peace,


King, and more…

“If you can’t fly, run, if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.” — Martin Luther King, Jr., Spelman College, April 10, 1960. (*

“There is always the danger that we will become more concerned about making a living than making a life- that we will not keep that line of division between life and one’s livelihood.” Ibid.

“Love is creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. When men rise to live on this level, they come to see all men as children of the almighty God, and they can look in the eyes of the opponent and love him in spite of his evil deed.” Ibid.

“All life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. (mandela-better-man-not-bitter-man)

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” — Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

“But many of us seek community solely to escape the fear of being alone. Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” — bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

“In times of silence, times of quiet, you have time for introspection…if you stand up and do something you can really become someone, so this is what I do.” — Gil Scott-Heron, see the interview on youtube

* This quote, incidentally, wasn’t easily sourced. I began to think it might be one of those made true by the Internet attributions (like Nelson Mandela’s “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate / Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” which was actually said by Marianne Williamson). I found references to it in statements by the great Marian Wright-Edelman, quoting what she heard King say in 1960 at Spelman college, which led me to seeing the typewritten draft of the speech in the King archive. Check out that archive! It’s ridiculously rich!!

Posted in Blog, Gratitude

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