“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’…
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.
I have a dream today.” MLK
Today the United States observes a national holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., a leader of the civil rights movement, and perhaps its most significant voice. It is well known that King led non-violent marches to protest injustice, gave towering speeches that stirred the masses, and was assassinated at the early age of 39.
But there is so much more that MLK did that demonstrates the depth of his commitment to the civil rights movement. In the last 11 years of his life he traveled more than 6 million miles and delivered 2,500 speeches. He wrote five books, was awarded five honorary degrees, won the Nobel Peace prize, and was arrested 20 times, working tirelessly to further the cause of civil rights.
One of the most poignant moments in US history was King’s “I have a dream…” speech delivered to 250,000 people from the the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. In it, King paints a powerful picture of his dream for the nation, a dream of racial equality, when the nation would live up to its creed, that all men are created equal. This message was truly from the heart as the entire “I have a dream” passage was not in the prepared speech, but added extemporaneously by King.
Do you have a dream? One for which you would travel six million miles? One for which you would be willing to be arrested and assaulted over and over again? One for which you would be willing to give your life?
There is power in purpose. What a difference it would make if we all had dreams as meaningful as Martin Luther King, Jr.