this tendency that can so easily come to my life now that I’m something special, that I’m something important. Living over the past year, I can hardly go into any city or any town in this nation where I’m not lavished with hospitality by peoples
of all races and of all creeds. I can hardly go anywhere to speak in this nation where hundreds and thousands of people are not turned away because of lack of space. And then after speaking, I often have to be rushed out to get away from the
crowd rushing for autographs. I can hardly walk the street in any city of this nation where I’m not confronted with people running up the street, “Isn’t this Reverend King of Alabama?” Living under this it’s easy, it’s a dangerous tendency that
I will come to feel that I’m something special, that I stand somewhere in this universe because of my ingenuity and that I’m important, that I can walk around life with a type of arrogance because of an importance that I have.
And one of the prayers that I pray to God everyday is: “0 God, help me to see myself in my true perspective. Help me, 0 God, to see that I’m just a symbol of a movement. Help me to see that I’m the victim of what the Germans call a Zeitgeist and that something was getting ready to happen in history; history was ready for it. And that a boycott would have taken place in Montgomery, Alabama, if I had never come to Alabama. Help me to realize that I’m where I am because of the forces of history
and because of the fifty thousand Negroes of Alabama who will never get their names in the papers and in the headline. 0 God, help me to see that where 1 stand today, I stand because others helped me to stand there and because the forces of history projected me there. And this moment would have come in history even if M. L. King had never been born.”
And when we come to see that, we stand with a humility. This is the prayer I pray to God every day, “Lord help me
to see M. L. King as M. L. King in his true perspective.” Because if I don’t see that, I will become the biggest fool in America.
–Conquering Self-centeredness, MLK