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3rd of My Fave Five Dr. King Quotes: On Perspective and Sacrifice

January 14, 2010

In his 1957 book, Stride Towards Freedom, Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr. wrote:

Due to my involvement in the struggle for the freedom of my people, I have known very few quiet days in the last few years.  I have been imprisoned in Alabama and Georgia jails twelve times.  My home has been bombed twice.  A day seldom passes that my family and I are not the recipients of threats to death.  I have been the victim of a near fatal stabbing.  So, in a real sense I have been battered by the storms of persecution.”

But, Dr. King had an uncanny way of making the best out of a bad situation.  He had a way of turning misery into meaning, pain into power, and his suffering into an opportunity for personal growth.   He did not complain, retreat, and give up no matter how hard things got.  Instead, in the same book he explains how he persevered,

If only to save myself from bitterness, I have attempted to see my personal ordeals as an opportunity to transfigure myself and heal the people involved in the tragic situation which now obtains.  I have lived these past few years with the conviction that unearned suffering is redemptive.” 

To read about my 4th favorite Dr. King quote on Service, click here

Barbara Talley is a keynote speaker, author, poet, and trainer who can be reached at  Still looking for a keynote speaker for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, or Administrative Professional Day, phone Barbara at 301-428-4831.

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