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Taking Advantage Of Opportunites: Lessons From Dr. King 

“If you can choose between opportunity and security, always choose opportunity.”

A couple of months ago, a wise friend gave me that sage advice; but sometimes I wonder, "What type of opportunity should I pursue?" Opportunities come in all shape and sizes. Which ones are important? Which ones will make a difference?

This incredible excerpt from a sermon given by Martin Luther King Jr. shows how he thought opportunities ought to be pursued. It is inspirational, humbling, and poignant.

I’ve also included the original audio below, thanks to archive.org. I think it's better coming from the man himself, definitely worth a listen.

And I say to you this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren't fit to live. You may be 38 years old as I happen to be, and one day some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause--and you refuse to do it because you are afraid; you refuse to do it because you want to live longer; you're afraid that you will lose your job, or you're afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity or you're afraid that somebody will stab you or shoot at you or bomb your house, and so you refuse to take the stand. Well you may go on and live until you are 90, but you're just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90! And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right, you died when you refused to stand up for truth, you died when you refused to stand up for justice.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the sermon “But, If Not” delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on November 5, 1967.

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