Martin Luther King’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

I can eas­i­ly get over­whelmed with neg­a­tiv­i­ty about the fate of the plan­et.  Just try read­ing the news.

Here’s some­thing I’ve found that helps me keep a pos­i­tive out­look — an excerpt from Mar­tin Luther King’s Nobel Prize accep­tance speech back in 1964.

Wow.martin luther king jr

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech (excerpt)

I accept this award today with an abid­ing faith in Amer­i­ca and an auda­cious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept the idea that the ‘isness’ of man’s present nature makes him moral­ly inca­pable of reach­ing up for the eter­nal ‘ought­ness’ that for­ev­er con­fronts him.

I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flot­sam and jet­sam in the riv­er of  life which sur­rounds him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so trag­i­cal­ly bound to the star­less mid­night of racism and war that the bright day­break of peace and broth­er­hood can nev­er become a real­i­ty.

I refuse to accept the cyn­i­cal notion that nation after nation must spi­ral down a mil­i­taris­tic stair­way into a hell of ther­monu­clear destruc­tion. I believe that unarmed truth and uncon­di­tion­al love will have the final word in real­i­ty. That 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. I believe that what self-cen­tered men have torn down oth­er-cen­tered men can build up. I believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned tri­umphant over war and blood­shed, and non­vi­o­lent redemp­tive good will pro­claim the rule of the land. ‘And the lion and the lamb shall lie down togeth­er and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.’ I still believe that we shall over­come.

This faith can give us courage to face the uncer­tain­ties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we con­tin­ue our for­ward stride toward the city of free­dom. 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.

Today I come to Oslo as a trustee, inspired and with renewed ded­i­ca­tion to human­i­ty. I accept this prize on behalf of all men who love peace and broth­er­hood.”


About Aaron Bynen

Aaron is a health conscious individual living in the Pacific Northwest.

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One Response to Martin Luther King’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

  1. Adrienne says:

    Thanks, Ron. I’ll for­ward this. And if I can fig­ure out how to “like” it on Face­book, I’ll do that too.

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