Martin Luther King, Jr. Words of Wisdom
Excerpt from The Sermon A Complete Life Delivered at New Covenant Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois, on 9 April 1967.
"What I’m saying to you this morning, my friends, even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out
and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed
music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry; (Go ahead) sweep streets so well that all the host of
heaven and earth will have to pause and say, "Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well."
If you can’t be a pine on the top of a hill.
Be a scrub in the valley—but be
The best little scrub on the side of the hill,
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a highway just be a trail
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or fail—
Be the best of whatever you are.
And when you do this, when you do this, you’ve mastered the length of life."
Speeches and Sermons
Washington March (text)
Nobel Prize Acceptance, other Nobel Peace Award information
The Purpose of Education
The Dimensions of a Complete Life
12 Step Tribute
There is a great day ahead. The future is on its side. It's going now through the
wilderness, but the promised land is ahead.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Birth of a New Nation
7 April 1957