The United States has been blessed throughout its history with men and women who stood up for the cause of freedom.

As children, we learn of the Founders who challenged tyranny and set up an experiment in self-government. Of soldiers who enlisted on their 18th birthdays to defend America overseas. Of seemingly-regular people who challenged corrupt systems to demand equality for all.

Few of these legendary Americans have had such a lasting impact that we set aside a day to recognize their accomplishments, but Martin Luther King, Jr. certainly meets the qualifications. King became the voice and face of a movement, unwilling to stay silent in the face of injustice.

King’s words on working together, caring for each other and standing up for what’s right have stood the test of time. They encourage us today to speak up, be bold and be unrelenting in our quest for freedom.

Take a look at some of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most inspirational words to live by:

  • “Number one in your life’s blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth and your own somebodiness.”
  • “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk If you can’t walk, crawl, but by all means keep moving forward.”
  • “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
  • “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve…You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. hold many lessons – know your value, speak up for those who can’t and use whatever gifts you have been given to help others. No matter who you are or where you come from, you can be great and have a positive impact on those around you!

How will you commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?