“Education must enable one to sit and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction. The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”- MLK Jr


Martin Luther King, Jr. was an intellectual. He has a lot to teach us about the importance of being well read and informed, as well as the importance of learning from history. He read countless numbers of book and speeches to arrive at his informed view of society and the goal of a positive, non-violent framework to move society forward. When he gave speeches, he was so deeply knowledgeable that he could talk without notes, quoting from any number of complex sources. This is a rare gift, but in fact, it takes years of preparation and sacrifice to achieve behind the scenes.  An example is his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” where he wrote a historic response to a letter to the Editor of a Birmingham Alabama paper, while he was in jail with no books or other references to rely on. He wrote it from his head and his heart, which were highly trained by that time. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a historic masterpiece and a testament not only to Dr. King’s intellectual powers, but also to his passion that drove his years of preparation which were put to critical use during his life on stage.

As future leaders, it is important that you develop the passion for knowledge and read as much as you can from both sources you agree with and sources you don’t agree with. It is only by reading a breadth of views that you become well informed and ready for your life of service.

Your is generation more fortunate than any other generation in time to achieve the goal of informed leadership because the internet has “democratized” education. You can now go to YouTube and listen to the great speeches and you can go to an internet browser and research any subject you are interested in and learn about history and people who made history.

Please use your time as a youth to develop your personal fund of knowledge so you are ready when called.

And of course, remember Dr. King’s words, “Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere”.

Please share with us your thoughts on this quote and the importance of the intellectual preparation both for your career of choice and to better society.