MLK: The Greatest of All Virtues

Artwork: "What a Human Being Is", Hilma af Klint, 1910 (link)
"...you may master the intricacies of the English language... 
...you may ascend to the heights of academic achievement...
...you may bestow great gifts to charity...
...You may even... die the death of a martyr...
...but...if you have not love...
...benevolence becomes egotism and martyrdom becomes spiritual pride...
...The greatest of all virtues is love.
...In a world depending on force, coercive tyranny, and bloody violence, you are challenged to follow the way of love. You will then discover that unarmed love is the most powerful force in all the world."
 ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Book: Strength to Love
Martin Luther King Jr.
1963
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52101.Strength_to_Love
Excerpt
"...you may master the intricacies of the English language and you may possess the eloquence of articulate speech; but even though you speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, you are like sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

You may have the gift of scientific prediction and understand the behavior of molecules, you may break into the storehouse of nature and bring forth many new insights, you may ascend to the heights of academic achievement, so that you have all knowledge, and you may boast of your great institutions of learning and the boundless extent of your degrees; but, devoid of love, all of these mean absolutely nothing.

But even more, ...you may give your goods to feed the poor, you may bestow great gifts to charity, and you may tower high in philanthropy, but if you have not love, your charity means nothing. 

You may even give your body to be burned and die the death of a martyr, and your spilled blood may be a symbol of honor for generations yet unborn, and thousands may praise you as one of history supreme heroes; but even so, if you have not love, your blood is spilled in vain. 

You must come to see that a man may be self-centered in his self-denial and self-righteous in his self-sacrifice. His generosity may feed his ego and his piety his pride. Without love, benevolence becomes egotism and martyrdom becomes spiritual pride.

The greatest of all virtues is love. 

...In a world depending on force, coercive tyranny, and bloody violence, you are challenged to follow the way of love. You will then discover that unarmed love is the most powerful force in all the world."

 ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

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