Today marks the second time that Grand Valley State University has canceled classes to encourage participation in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations. We applaud the university for ensuring that this day remain focused on the trials and triumphs of the campaign led by Dr. King as he worked for social justice.
As is such, we want to encourage all students to use their “free” Monday to participate in the GVSU events or in some way further the social justice mission of Dr. King. But their recognition of his work shouldn’t stop as classes start. The spirit of the reverend should remain alive in our educational endeavors as we acquire the knowledge needed to make a difference in the world.
In short, Dr. King is a very quotable person. Here are a few that you probably haven’t heard that you should consider as a student:
About hard work:
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.
Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
About living for others:
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
About doing what is right:
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
The time is always right to do what is right.
We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
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.