I HAVE A DREAM

  1. So I just reread Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in its entirety. When is the last time you read the whole thing?
  2. Because you should. Here's a link:
  3. It was written 52 years ago. There are some amazing lines in it...
  4. "So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition"
    Meaning the inequality, poverty and prejudice that still existed in 1963, 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Alas, there are still so many "appalling conditions" in 2015.
  5. "But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt"
    How do we feel about this now? Have we made a lot of progress in the last 52 years? In some ways, Yes. But in many ways, No. Occupy Wall Street. Ferguson. NSA spying on/invading the privacy of all of us. Big banks. We have miles to go before we sleep.
  6. "We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of *now.*"
    What is fiercely urgent in your own life, today? What issues are not being addressed in society/America/the world? What should we be marching on Washington about? When was the last time we marched on Washington even? Are we allowed to march of Washington?? Or only in a certain roped-off marching zone?
  7. What is urgent for you? And how are you working on it? I ask myself this question every day. I wish I felt it was easier to rise above my own petty problems and do more. And be more.
  8. "The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges."
    Are we revolting about anything anymore? I feel like we're mostly just half-awake and anesthetized by social media and reality TV. Surely the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage is a Big Win. But there are so many utterly intolerable things we should be shaking the foundations over...but we're not. Or at least I'm not. And I feel profoundly guilty about it.
  9. "We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence."
    This is so hard for us humans. We always seem to degenerate into physical violence. Why is it so easy for us to raise a hand to another human being, even when we are fed up or angry? And why is it so easy for our own government to be violent against us (physically and symbolically)?
  10. "Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."
    This is such a beautiful line. I wish I/we did this more often. Remember the image of the man standing in front of a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square? Soul force.
  11. "We cannot walk alone."
    There are so many ways (including literally) that I find myself walking alone every single day. I wish I could more often walk arm in arm with people. With you.
  12. "When will you be satisfied?"
    I don't know. I need to make a list of what I'm not satisfied about. You should, too. I mean literally a list on @list. Then let's all compare lists and then do something about it. Wanna?
  13. "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."
    Gosh, imagine a march on Washington (or anywhere) where 250,000 people all wore a t-shirt reading "No, no, we are not satisfied." Also, imagine standing in the middle of the river Bruinen, carrying a Frodo of dissatisfaction on your horse. And imagine the Nine Ringwraiths of injustice being swept away by the flood of righteousness. Okay, I am stretching the metaphor too far. BUT STILL
  14. "Let us not wallow in the valley of despair."
    Yes. Let us not. But it is so hard to climb out of this valley.
  15. "I have a dream today."
    What is your dream? How are you working every day to make it come true? And how can I help, if I can? God, I want to.
  16. "I have a dream...that the crooked places will be made straight."
    There are still so many crooked places. So, so many.
  17. "With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."
    I want to hear that song. Alas, I often feel like we are all more disconnected now than we've ever been. Am I wrong? How do you feel? And does Facebook help?
  18. "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
    We are so far from free at last. In America and especially everywhere else.
  19. Anyway. Reread the speech. I cannot even begin to do it justice. It is heart-rending and beautiful. And after reading it, and in spite of myself, it is hard not to feel a bit of hope. And it makes me want to do something. Hopefully, I can and will.