Martin Luther King Jr. was a internationally known speaker, civil rights activist, minister, author, husband, and father. He was a man who refused to bow down to injustice. Who believed in non violent progression, protest, and social change. A man who lived God’s purpose for his life in the face of danger every day until his death. He and many others paved the way for many things we so often take for granted today.

He preached belief in self, God, and equality amongst all people. When I think about all that he and those who worked alongside him did for us, I can’t help but to hold back my tears and feel pride as a brown skinned woman and woman of God!

Here are 19 quotes about life’s purpose to hide in your heart and recite everyday!


  1. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

  2. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

  3. “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.”

  4. “Use me, God.Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a  purpose greater than myself.” 

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

  6. “The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

  7. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

  8. “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

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

  10. “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.

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

  12. “We cannot walk alone.”

  13. “The God whom we worship is not a weak and incompetent God. He is able to beat back gigantic waves of opposition and to bring low prodigious mountains of evil. The ringing testimony of the Christian faith is that God is able.”

  14. “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’

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

  16. “Nothing worthwhile is gained without sacrifice.”

  17. “If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music … Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”

  18. “Deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth, and your own somebodyness. Don’t let anybody make you feel that you are nobody. Always feel that you count, always feel you have worth, always feel your life has ultimate significance.”

  19. “When you discover what you are going to be in life, set out to do it as if God almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it.”

    When you discover what you are going to be in life, set out to do it as if God almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Click To Tweet


What is your favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote? Share below!


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