Martin Luther King, Jr. in Oslo

Today, America celebrates the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  As part of the celebration, you can read about his speeches at the University of Chicago here.  You can also “voice your dream” at the MLK dream wall and on Twitter (see also photos).

Martin Luther King, Jr. left behind a great international legacy.  The words of his 1964 Nobel lecture, The Quest for Peace and Justice, reverberate with renewed meaning today, as he said,

“The deep rumbling of discontent that we hear today is the thunder of disinherited masses, rising from dungeons of oppression to the bright hills of freedom…  Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life? …. There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is in human will. ” 

His acceptance speech (audio) for his Nobel Peace Prize highlights his non-violent philosophy, dreams for a better world, the importance of acting to change the world, and never losing hope.  Very inspiring!:

“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 prostrate 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 peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits…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.”