As we remember and honor the memory of Martin Luther King, his words ring across space and are timeless. There is a truth, a truth louder than ever, a truth for this very moment.
MLK speech from the Nobel Prize acceptance
“I refuse the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “outness” that forever confronts him.
I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the River of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.
I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction.
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying on the blood flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men.
I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the it minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.
I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, other-centered men can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land.
This faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom.
When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.”