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Monday, January 19, 2015

i have decided

"I'm concerned about a better world. I'm concerned about justice; I'm concerned about

brotherhood; I'm concerned about truth. (That’s right) And when one is concerned about that, he

can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't

murder murder. (Yes) Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth.

(That's right) Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate through

violence. (All right, That’s right) Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.


And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only

answer to mankind's problems. (Yes) And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it

isn't popular to talk about it in some circles today. (No) And I'm not talking about emotional bosh

when I talk about love; I'm talking about a strong, demanding love. (Yes) For I have seen too

much hate. (Yes) I've seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. (Yeah) I've seen

hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South

to want to hate, myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces

and their personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. (Yes, That’s

right) I have decided to love. [applause] If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find

it through love.

... And so I say to you today, my friends, that you may be able to speak with the tongues of men

and angels (All right); you may have the eloquence of articulate speech; but if you have not

love, it means nothing. (That's right) Yes, you may have the gift of prophecy; you may have the

gift of scientific prediction (Yes sir) and understand the behavior of molecules (All right); you

may break into the storehouse of nature (Yes sir) and bring forth many new insights; yes, you

may ascend to the heights of academic achievement (Yes sir) so that you have all knowledge

(Yes sir, Yes); and you may boast of your great institutions of learning and the boundless extent

of your degrees; but if you have not love, all of these mean absolutely nothing. (Yes) You may

even give your goods to feed the poor (Yes sir); you may bestow great gifts to charity (Speak);

and you may tower high in philanthropy; but if you have not love, your charity means nothing.

(Yes sir) You may even give your body to be burned and die the death of a martyr, and your

spilt blood may be a symbol of honor for generations yet unborn, and thousands may praise you

as one of history's greatest heroes; but if you have not love (Yes, All right), your blood was spilt

in vain. What I'm trying to get you to see this morning is that a man may be self-centered in his

self-denial and self-righteous in his self-sacrifice. His generosity may feed his ego, and his piety

may feed his pride. (Speak) So without love, benevolence becomes egotism, and martyrdom

becomes spiritual pride.
... And I must confess, my friends (Yes sir), that the road ahead will not always be smooth.

(Yes) There will still be rocky places of frustration (Yes) and meandering points of bewilderment.

There will be inevitable setbacks here and there. (Yes) And there will be those moments when

the buoyancy of hope will be transformed into the fatigue of despair. (Well) Our dreams will

sometimes be shattered and our ethereal hopes blasted. (Yes) We may again, with teardrenched

eyes, have to stand before the bier of some courageous civil rights worker whose life

will be snuffed out by the dastardly acts of bloodthirsty mobs. (Well) But difficult and painful as it

is (Well), we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future. ...

Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Let us

realize that William Cullen Bryant is right: "Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again." Let us go out

realizing that the Bible is right: "Be not deceived. God is not mocked. (Oh yeah) Whatsoever a

man soweth (Yes), that (Yes) shall he also reap." This is our hope for the future, and with this

faith we will be able to sing in some not too distant tomorrow, with a cosmic past tense, "We

have overcome! (Yes) We have overcome! Deep in my heart, I did believe (Yes) we would




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