Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘I Have a Dream’
Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech 56 years ago. God placed a dream in him to share with the world.
MLK Jr.’s words are very much alive today as they were spoken 56 years ago, as they seem to speak still of our times today. That is what drew me to read his dream speech. We are reminded once a year of this remarkable dream speech. It should rest with us every day. It speaks words of peace, togetherness, and oneness of heart and purpose as a human race. We should all read his dream speech today and meditate on its meaning in the present time. The culture today is different and hopefully we have learned a few things, but we still have a ways to go.
MLK Jr. said, “Our life begins to end when we become silent on things that matter.” There are forces in this world that continue to separate us as human beings, as children of God, created in his image equally. If we would very seriously look and think about what divides us as human beings, I think we would be very surprised at the answer. We would be very ashamed of our selfishness and attitudes and see how it robs us of our joy.
Where does it start, this attitude? Because of something in our past American history? On one of our nightly TV news shows, they had a story of two little girls, one black and one white, that were the best of friends. There did everything together, even wore the same outfits sometimes. They called themselves twins. People told them that it couldn’t be possible, but they still insisted they were twins. In their mind’s eye, they were twins/soul twins. A dream was put in their hearts and nobody was going to tell them different.
This is similar to the same dream that MLK Jr. dreamed for America and the world. Society also said it was impossible. The world tends to teach us that we should have certain ideas and we just go along with it.
“I have a dream that one day right down in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers”
“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.”
What made those two little girls of different color think differently about each other? They were not confined by society of what they should think and feel. They liked each other and were the best of friends because of the character they shared.
MLK Jr. also warned against drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow out creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul source.”
We all have a dream speech to unite, not divide. We all need dignity and worth as a nation and a world. MLK Jr. said that if Amercia is to be a great nation, we need to guarantee and work towards the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people. Until then, America’s foundation will be shaken and there will be neither rest nor tranquility.
Let us not only keep MLK Jr.’s dream alive, let us move forward as a nation, as a world, to fulfill it – to make a better world, as our lives and destiny are all bound together to bring about freedom for all.
MLK Jr.’s dream is deeply rooted in the American dream.
Let us be dreamers, every race and color, young and old.
Battles are won from within – a change of heart.