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Word for the Wise January 15, 2007 Broadcast Topic: Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior

Today we remember Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior, the civil rights leader, clergyman, and Nobel Prize winner who was born on this date in 1929. (来源:英语杂志 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

We suspect that many of the recollections of Dr. King will—quite rightly—recall his famous I have a dream speech, but when we poked around the archives, we found a few other King quotations worth taking to heart. We were especially taken by his impassioned "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" and decided to follow up with his thoughts on what it takes to speak up for one's convictions.

"Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most," he observed, "is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody." So what is wrong with that fear, you might ask?

According to Reverend King, 'On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question, “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.'

 
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