Sunday, January 15, 2012

Food for Thought

Monday in the USA is Martin Luther King, Jr Day.  Plenty of folks will quotes excerpts from the I Have a Dream speech.  Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful speech, one of the greats in American history.  Sadly, what often happens with the great speeches and ideals they express is we become inured to the message by repetition.  Rev. King has been one of my heroes since I was in grade school and read about his adherence to non-violence for the first time.  Today I thought I'd reference some of MLK, Jr's other quotes which perhaps are not as well known and offer them for consideration in light of current conditions.




The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.
Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education


When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam


A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching
spiritual death.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, (1967)


 Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
-- Strength to Love (1963)


The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
-- Strength to Love (1963)


I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.--Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)

10 comments:

coopernicus said...

Never more true than it is today....sadly.

Bijoux said...

The more things change, the more they stay the same.....all of those could have been written today! Thanks for sharing them with us, even if it is pretty darned depressing!

Craig said...

Dr. King has always been one of my heroes.

Alas, human fallen-ness hasn't changed in 50 years. . .

Thanks for this. . .

Suldog said...

"We have guided missiles and misguided men."

Truth.

G-Man said...

Dr. King was OUR Ghandi...

Beach Bum said...

MLK was a true visionary not just for Americans but for everyone all around the world. While in no way am I an expert on the man from what little I know I can't help but feel he would be very disappointed and in some cases outraged at American society as it stands now.

Logophile said...

I quoted The Letter from...
this year and changed it up with my kids for exactly the reason you mentioned.
There is so much wisdom and inspiration to be gleaned from him it seems a shame to only focus on that one speech, even if it is one of the greatest in our recent history.

Good quotes.

Kat said...

Thank you for those quotes. That man was so amazing it is hard to pick a favorite quote. He was filled with wisdom.

Jocelyn said...

He was the master of rhetoric and can never get old to me. Thank you for these.

Hilary said...

A fine way to commemorate the day.