On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s capital, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream of fairness, equality, and justice for all. It was no small vision, but it was simple – for us all to be treated the same.
We’ve been conditioned to believe Dr. King’s dream is a monumental undertaking. We believe it takes electing the right people to office and enacting the right laws.
It’s not now, nor has it ever been that complicated.
At its heart, Dr. King’s dream came from the heart. Fairness. Justice. Equality. Respect. Human Dignity. These are not impossible goals. Some realize them every day. But many do not because of the color of their skin, where they were born, their gender, whom they chose to love, or how they choose to worship. Somehow, these things make people unworthy and undeserving. These things are used against them to marginalize them and steal their voice. And then we wait…for the right politicians, the right laws, or the right court rulings to tell us this treatment is wrong.
But we already knew that.
Fifty-four years later, we’re still waiting for someone to tell us what is right. We’re waiting for someone to tell us what we already know.
Elected officials and their laws, courts, and special interests are obstacles, not barriers. How do you handle an obstacle? Move it, navigate around it, or just say, “to hell with it”, and go right through it.
Many lament and mourn the end of Dr. King’s dream and the death of his vision.
But it is not dead. Not as long as we refuse to be silenced. Not as long as we demand accountability. Not as long as we refuse to allow obstacles to become barriers.
Not as long as it lives in our hearts.
“…This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”
“…Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream, deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Excerpts from “I Have A Dream”, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
External Link: http://www.thekingcenter.org/