"The other day, I went out to Kilby prison to pray with some of the men on death row. And it’s always a very tragic experience, not so much a tragic experience as a sort of sad experience to look at men who have committed great crimes and now they are standing in a little cell with nothing there much, just in a little cell between four walls. And they can’t see much and they’re just waiting for the day of their death and the day of their ultimate doom. And I went to pray with some of these men. And I never can forget as I walked away from there after praying and walked out of all of these bars, I couldn’t walk out with arrogance. I couldn’t walk out with the feeling that I’m not like these men. I couldn’t walk out with the attitude of the Pharisee, “I thank Thee God that I’m not like other men.” But as I walked out of that door, something was ringing in my heart saying, “But for the grace of God, you would be here.” As I look at drunkard men walking the streets of Montgomery and of other cities every day, I find myself saying, “But by the grace of God, you too would be a drunkard.” As I look at those who have lost balance of themselves and those who are giving their lives to a tragic life of pleasure and throwing away everything they have in riotous living, I find myself saying, “But by the grace of God, I too would be here.” And when you see that point, you cannot be arrogant. But you walk through life with a humility that takes away the self-centeredness that makes you a disintegrated personality. And you begin to sing: Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saves a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now I’m found, Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; ’Twas grace that brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. And when you take this attitude, you go into the room of your life and take down the mirrors because you cannot any longer see yourself. But the mirrors somehow are transformed into windows and you look out into the objective world and see that you are what you are because of somebody else. You are what you are because of the grace of the Almighty God."
- Martin Luther King Jr.