If you have never actually listened to it, it is amazing - even 50 years later. Click here to watch it: I have a Dream speech. I remember studying this speech in a Rhetoric class a mere 10 years ago in University (eek) and being stunned by it's continued relevance in our world.
How many places in this world are still ripe with inequality. Look at Syria, Egypt, Sudan - they are still killing each other over mere differences in understanding. Look at Russia that bans gay and lesbian people from living their lives openly. Take a look at the news and find, on any given day, someone filled with hatred for another human being because of their differences.
The more I read, live, and understand about the world, the more I see how we must cloak each other in utter kindness. We must be true, honest, genuine vessels of compassion. I am often shocked when people comment on my optimism and notice that I often seem to find the silver lining in things. Believe me... some days I don't feel like there is a silver lining. Some days I just want to punch someone in the face. This, however, is ultimately against what I believe. I believe that tomorrow is a different day with no mistakes in it. We have the chance to be inspiring and create change every day. The change may be small, it may not matter to anyone, but if you face your day with optimism, kindness and joy, good things come. I believe this with every fiber of my being, and I believe that Dr. King did too.
I realize that this sounds trite. Dr. King said "The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a dreamer has his eyes closed and a visionary has his eyes open." Walk around the world with your eyes open, see the world. Not just the beauty and magic that it is filled with, but the gruesome, scary, unkind stuff too. Without seeing the bad, you can't appreciate the good. Nor can you help with the bad. Even if you just smile to the poor man on the street and make eye contact with him, or let the pregnant lady with the 2 screaming kids in front of you in line, or adopt a kid in Africa, it is the little things that inspire change. Gandhi said "Be the change you wish to see in the world". I say that you should be the change, walk with your eyes open, inspire and be inspired.
|On Lincoln Memorial|
On this anniversary of such a passionate and inspiring speech, I encourage you to find your inspiration, find your way to deliver that justice, look for a way to be a kinder, more accepting, gentler person. But don't do it for Dr. King - although he would be honored - do it for yourself.