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What's the meaning of the Martin Luther King Jr quote below?“The ultimate measure of...

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maria222 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted June 7, 2012 at 7:17 PM via web

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What's the meaning of the Martin Luther King Jr quote below?

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 7, 2012 at 7:47 PM (Answer #1)

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Martin Luther King, Jr. is best known as the main leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the US.  During the movement, things were difficult for African Americans.  The idea of rising up against a system that had oppressed them was not a comfortable one.  But King is saying in this quote that this is exactly the sort of situation where you find out what you are made out of.  What he is saying is that it is easy to handle life when things are comfortable and convenient.  How you handle that sort of life says nothing about your character.  What really shows your character is how you act when times are bad.  If you stand up for what is right, even if it's hard, you have a lot more character than if you refuse because you don't want to deal with the "challenge and controversy."

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