When compiling some of Martin Luther King, Jr. most memorable quotes, I discovered many of them mirrored the wisdom of the 12 Steps. See if you agree.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” MLK, Jr.

  1. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”  MLK, Jr.

  1. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

“For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.” MLK, Jr.

  1. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”  MLK, Jr.

MLK ignorance quote

  1. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

“The time is always right to do what is right.”  MLK, Jr.

  1. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” MLK, Jr.

  1. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

“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.”  MLK, Jr.

  1. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”  MLK, Jr.

  1. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”  MLK, Jr.

  1. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”  MLK, Jr.

  1. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  MLK, Jr.

  1. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  MLK, Jr.

Compiled by Diane Vernitsky Jellen, January 16, 2017.