‘The words that changed the world’: Martin Luther King Jr.

«So we must help time and realize that the time is always right to do right» (M. L. King, Jr.)

These are affirmations that, notwithstanding their brevity or maybe because of it, they are able to change a man, to open his eyes and make him change his own path in life.

Martin Luther King Jr was definitely a man who could utter such words. His speeches motivated a generation to change their ideas and actions that were deemed unthinkable, moved ideas and thoughts and develop innovative concepts such as the non-violent opposition. His words brought real change.

The change- of  our life and  of the ones of those who need our support– is one of the basic concepts of the Social Change School, as it was for Martin Luther King Jr.: here is why today he will be the protagonist of the rubric  ‘The words that changed the World’.

It was the summer of 1965, when Martin Luther King Jr. was at Oberlin College, in Ohio, to receive an ‘honoris causa’ degree. It had been about six months since he had received, in Oslo, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, his Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, and America was shaken by demonstrations often brutally repressed. Students, activists, professors were about to hear one of the most powerful speeches that the pastor of Non-Violence  ever made.

One of the cornerstones of that speech was the time.

So often neglected and abused, taken for granted, time is really precious.

It’s always the right time. Peremptory statement. The opportunity is created, not expected.

And this leads to the second concept, dramatically powerful, expressed by Martin Luther King.

“To do right” – “Do what is right.”

It is simply insufficient to theorize, think and believe. You must do. Do not be afraid of our own actions.

The invitation of Martin Luther King to act more promptly and at all times, in the name of our ideals of freedom and actual is as timely as ever, and is one of the fundamental values that the Social Change School firmly promotes.


By Guido Pacifici


Also read the words of the great Nelson Mandela, the first release of the rubric edited by Guido Pacifici.

Reference source: “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution” – Oberlin College Archives

Source Photo: Archive WYSO

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