"I have a dream that one day we will not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character." Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. | August 28, 1963
As we all know, these famous words delivered by the great Martin Luther King, Jr on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Steps where our children stood last November reflecting on what those words mean to us today. Sweet Charlotte didn’t quite understand the context, so we tried to simplify it for her - one race thought that they were better than another race simply because one was black and one was white.
Her eyes widened and she said “but Jesus died for everyone, mommy". As I teared up and said “exactly" I felt as if I was hearing this, like her, for the first time. I looked out onto the mall, in the darkness of night and thought of all of the men and women, boys and girls that stood there in those moments listening to a man bring hope for the first time in their life. As much as I cannot begin to understand the oppression they felt, I fear that our culture is veering off on a similar hate-laced path all too quickly.
Here’s the thing.
I like to dream too.
I like to dream that we would not judge based on the color of our skin, or by the way we vote, the religion we practice, the way we dress, our sexual orientation, the neighborhoods we choose to live in, the schools we go to or the careers we have.
We all want to live in a world where we aren't being judged, but that means we have to live in a world where we stop doing the judging.
All of us have been misrepresented, mischaracterized, misjudged. Bitter with resentment that has rooted itself deeply, we want to now lash out swiftly then retreat to our corners instead of coming together in unity as our country so desperately needs. It is tragic, really. And as long as we keep on this path, there will be no unity. No progress. No change.
Standing on those infamous steps with our children, I thought what my speech would be today in light of our current political and cultural climate.
So, in that vein, here is my own "I have a dream speech" inspired by the GREAT Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have a dream that one day we will respect each other's opinion, vote, religion that is different than ours. That one day we will come to a table and talk candidly about our differences instead of shaming each other for what isn’t similar. I have a dream that Republicans and Democrats will one day put down their swords and begin work TOGETHER. That our children will one day live in a world that is rich with diversity and love is intertwined into every conversation, argument and debate. I have dream that we would be able to live with each other compassionately and respectfully, acknowledging disagreement but loving each other anyway. I have a dream that we would learn how to stand for our convictions graciously, boldly and courageously while not degrading others in the process.
This is my dream. What is yours?