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Perhaps there is no better time than today, the celebration of the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to consider what inspires you. Moments of inspiration, according to an opinion piece by David Brooks in the New York Times, “feel transcendent, uncontrollable and irresistible. When one is inspired, time disappears or alters its pace. The senses are amplified. There may be goosebumps or shivers down the spine or a sense of being overawed by some beauty.” “Inspiration is like emotional espresso,” said Frederick Miller, MD, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry at NorthShore. “By allowing us to see the full potential for ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us, inspiration frees us from doubt and insecurity and fuels us to be the best we can be.” The word itself comes from the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe into.” What inspires you? Is it a breathtaking view, a meaningful quote, immersing yourself in a different culture?
To honor Dr. King’s legacy, here are 10 inspirational quotes from him about kindness, courage and unity that may inspire you in ways you might not expect.
1. “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."
2. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
3. “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
4. “Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
5. “Hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love. I know love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems.”
6. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
7. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
8. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
9. “No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”
10. “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”