An oft-quoted statement attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shows up to have actually been paraphrased from a speech he made in 1965.

You are watching: Our lives begin to end quote meaning

Published16 January 2017

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shelp "Our resides start to end the day we become silent about points that matter."
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But while the precise quote is nowhere to be discovered in King’s speeches or writings, it does seem to be a paraphrase of a much more complex assumed he uttered throughout a sermon in Selma, Alabama, on 8 March 1965, the day after “Bloody Sunday,” on which civil legal rights protesters were struck and also beaten by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge:

Deep down in our non-violent creed is the conviction tbelow are some points so dear, some things so priceless, some things so eternally true, that they’re worth dying for. And if a guy happens to be 36 years old, as I take place to be, some good reality stands before the door of his life — some great possibility to stand also up for that which is best. A man might be afrhelp his house will gain bombed, or he’s afrassist that he will certainly shed his job, or he’s afraid that he will certainly acquire swarm, or beat down by state troopers, and also he might go on and live till he’s 80. He’s just as dead at 36 as he would be at 80. The cessation of breapoint in his life is simply the belated announcement of an previously fatality of the heart. He died …

A guy dies as soon as he refsupplies to stand also up for that which is ideal. A man dies once he refprovides to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refprovides to take a stand also for that which is true.

So we’re going to stand up amid horses. We’re going to stand up ideal right here in Alabama, amid the billy-clubs.

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We’re going to stand up right right here in Alabama amid police dogs, if they have them. We’re going to stand also up amid tear gas! We’re going to stand also up amid anypoint they deserve to muster up, letting the human being recognize that we are established to be free!

Albeit shortened, reworded, and also deprived of conmessage, the viral passage captures an essential suggest King was trying to make, yet it is even more accurately represented as a paraphrase, not a straight quote.