Easter answers …

People are always asking, “What is the most durable power in the universe? And the fact is that Easter answers that question too. You wonder about it. What is it that is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos? What is it? Philosophers have tried to grapple with it over the years, and they moved back, and maybe Heraclitus comes out and says that it’s pleasure. Maybe somebody else comes out and points out to certain moral established principles. But I tell you I want to reach out and get one morally established principle for you, and said that that is the basic and underlying principle of the universe, that is the most durable power in the world. And do you know what that is? It’s the power of love. Easter tells us that. Sometimes it looks like the other powers are much more durable. Then we come to see that isn’t true. But the most durable, lasting power in this world is the power to love.

— Questions that Easter Answers, MLK


There is another question that men like to ask:

Is the universe on the side of the forces of justice and goodness? Sometimes it looks dark and sometimes people come to feel that the universe is on the other side, that the universe seems to say “Amen” to the forces of injustice, and that the voices of the universe seem to cry out “Hallelujah” to the forces of godlessness. And oh, it looked dark for men centuries ago, looked like everything that they had stood for had gone. — Questions that Easter Answers, MLK


There are some people who find themselves in the experiences of Good Friday.

And Good Friday is something of an inevitable transition of life. But if you look at life in all of its reality, you see it at one moment swinging back toward the beautiful days of Palm Sunday. There you hear the loud hosannas, there you stand in your state of happiness and joy and fulfillment in everything. But then you discover that life again swings over to Good Friday. This is a part of life. That is the dark part, that is the disappointment, that is the delusion, the disillusioning side of life. And some people swinging over from Palm Sunday to Good Friday give up in despair. They run to the rivers and cry out, “I can’t take it.” And sometimes they even jump in because Good Friday’s on them, and they have lived so long in the midst of Palm Sunday. — Questions that Easter Answers, MLK


So many people feel inferior because they have their egos on their hands.

So many people feel inferior because they have their egos on their hands. The ego stands out as a sore thumb, oversensitive and easily hurt. The thing that individuals must do somehow is push the ego in the background by becoming absorbed in great causes and in great ideals and in great principles. I think that is what Jesus meant when he said, “He who seeks to find his life shall lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake shall find it.” In other words, he who seeks to find his ego will lose his ego, but he who loses his ego in some great cause greater than his ego shall find his ego. This is the thing that challenges us. –Overcoming an Inferiority Complex, MLK


Don’t consider your work insignificant. Consider it of cosmic significance.

All of the people of the world cannot do the so-called big things. Some of us will have to be content to do the so-called little things, but we must do the little things in a big way. We must do the ordinary things in an extraordinary manner And we overcome our sense of inferiority by doing just this-by somehow accepting what we have to do and doing that thing well No matter how small you consider it, you can dignify anything. I have a friend around on Hall Street, Urelee Gordon who shines shoes occasionally. And I just love to go there to get a shoeshine. He can do more with just shining shoes than most people
can do with their Ph D ’s. He can get more music out of a rag shining shoes than Louis Armstrong can get out of a trumpet. And I just love to see him shine shoes. He has dignified shoeshining. And that is what men and women must come to
see-that anything can be dignified if the way that you do it and the enthusiasm that you put in it. As I like to say, if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper in life, sweep streets like Raphael painted pictures. Sweep streets like Michelangelo carved marble. Sweep streets like Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” –Overcoming an Inferiority Complex, MLK


We should ask God to help us to accept ourselves

and to use our tools no matter how dull they are, I’ve used this example quite often: I remember when I was in college, I was taking a very difficult course, that many of you have taken I’m sure, called statistics, and I’ve never been a great mathematician. And we had the job, you know, of finding the mead, mode, and medium, and standard deviation. And I remember that I had a classmate who is now the bursar, I mean the registrar, of Morehouse College, and he had a tremendous faculty for taking up things in the mathematical realm and doing them in just a few minutes. And I thought that I was to do it just like he did it. He could do it in just a few minutes. And I was going to do this thing like Leif Cain, I was gonna do this thing just like he did it. I knew I had the capacity of Leif Cain, and he would turn it out. And I discovered that I would try
to do it in the same length of time, and I didn’t get it. And I finally had to accept the fact, and it was kind of difficult at first, but I had to come to see that Leif Cain had a better mind than I had. He had a better capacity for grasping this particular thing. And so while he could do it in one hour, I had to spend three hours in doing it. I had to just come down to the point of accepting myself and my dull tools and doing it the best that I could, and this is the thing that every individual must do. –Overcoming an Inferiority Complex, MLK


So many people are busy trying to be somebody else,

and that is what accounts for their frustration There is within every man a bit of latent creativity seeking to break forth, and it is often blocked because we are busy trying to be somebody else. So this is the first way to overcome an inferiority complex — accept yourself. That means accept your looks. It means accept your limitations in every area. It means what it says “Accept your actual self.” And where the conflict really comes is that individuals find a sort of impassable gulf between their actual selves and their desired selves And that is when an inferiority complex breaks out in morbid proportions – when individuals come to see that there is such a tremendous gap between their actual selves and their desired selves. And the thing that every individual should pray to the Almighty God for is to give them that sense of acceptance of the actual self with all limitations and with all of the endowments that come as the result of our being born in this world. –Overcoming an Inferiority Complex, MLK