I had a dream…

Happy Martin Luther King Day. Schools are out. Banks are closed. The nation celebrates an official day on the calendar—generally by doing nothing associated with said day, but that’s a different blog. So everyone enjoys a day off, but does anyone actually listen to the speech again every year? Does anyone actually know the speech outside that mantra of REM state hope? I would bet it’s very few people. Here’s the ‘dream’ portion of that speech, for those that haven’t memorized it…er, 99% of the population.

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.”

Check. We have laws, ideals and philosophies in place for this. Where it fails is on a personal level, an individual failure, that a nation cannot take fault for.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

Check! They all play professional sports together, slap each other’s asses, and make more money than god.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

Check. In 2000, Mississippi and Alabama together had more black elected officials (1628) than the entire nation had in 1970.

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.

Again, judgment is an individual thing. And while I’m a dirty rotten atheist, even I try and remember the idea behind the wise words “judge not, lest ye be judged.”

I have a dream today.

Oh, I did too! Mine included colored wooden dowels and fishnet and painting the cabin pink for some reason… wow I wish I could remember the rest of that so it would make sense!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

“Red Rover, Red Rover, send Billy over!” Yep… Check. Schools have more than just black and white now. Today’s playgrounds have black, white, red, yellow, green and even the occasional rainbow—all holding hands.

I have a dream today.

Yeah, but did you understand the fishnet part? I’m still really confused by that!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

See, now we’re gonna fight. Religion IS a personal thing, so I can’t get behind this portion of everyone believing in “the one true god”. The dirty rotten atheist calls “pass”… talk to me in 2012.

Now, what is the point to all this? It’s not to tell you the speech, you can google that. It’s not to point out that we have a black president, ya’ll can see that. It’s the long way around the barn to say… there were other people in history, other speeches, other ideals and other hopes and dreams that don’t get this much attention. And that complaint didn’t even originate with me, it came from the mouth of a sweet little fourth grader, who came home from school the friday before the holiday and declared…

“Again?! Why do we have to learn about Martin Luther King Jr. every single year? We don’t learn about anyone else every single year. This is just stupid.”

He stomped off to the other room to do his homework and I stood in the kitchen absorbing his words. He wasn’t saying the ideas were stupid, he was saying the focus was—and he was right.

When you google “important people in history” you can find a page of the top 10 (which doesn’t include King), the top 25 (of which he’s 17th), and google suggests Albert Einstein,  Susan B. Anthony and Isaac Newton as “similar searches.”

The kid’s got a point.

We don’t teach Buddha, Gandhi, Hitler or even Groucho Marx over and over and over. You learn them once and then you move on down the years of history to the next person, event, war, whatever and learn about that.

So, because every kid in the nation is going to have to learn about King, again (or may have already done so, last week), I suggest that the adults pick new dreams. We’ve got King’s hopes covered—for the most part, or, at the very least, we’re aware of them. But to stay there, to accept that as the pinnacle of national achievement, is stagnant. Things change. Prejudices change. The world changes and your hopes for how society accepts or rejects those changes should adjust along with it.

So what are your dreams? Do you have a dream for the future that includes national or global change on the way people think or behave on a whole? What is it? Let’s make a new speech for a new millennium…

I’ll even start it and you can chime in, off the top of my head:

I have a dream…that one day (or hey, now would work!) all adult have the right to sleep with whichever other consenting adult they’d like without persecution. And should those consenting adults feel that they want to spend the rest of their lives together, their “union” should be accepted the same as a marital “union”. Because, after all, love is love and throughout history it has prevailed.

Your turn! What else should be in the new speech?

*Fine Print: this post isn’t meant to piss anyone off. If you get pissed of it’s because you choose to. Get over it. Learn to laugh at a child…they often speak the truth without knowing the greatness of their own words.

0 Responses to I had a dream…

  • Pingback: AletheaKontis.com » Blog Archive » If You Can Keep Your Head When All About You Are Having Dreams

  • wolfnoma says:

    Dreams… I have ’em, you have ’em, Heck, we all have ’em. To each his/her own. I say one should do what makes one happy within the boundaries of the law of the land. And, if the laws are unjust then you need to rise up and FIGHT for what is RIGHT. Oppression is WRONG. But all that is just political.

    My dream for my personal future involves sleep, rest, hammocks, margarittas, fluffy white ski slopes, white sandy beaches, cool breezes, warm ocean water lapping my feet, a faithful dog who like to play “fetch”, a clean house, the gentleness of my loved ones touch, the softness of her skin and the sunshine in her laughter, a good cigar with a glass of better scotch on the rocks, juicy tidbits of conversation that drip of idividuals success’s and failures, tears of joy and of sorrow, mortgages paid, cars without oil leaks, music in every room, good stories, books and a life lived on the edge of joyful explosion.

    I guess you could say I just want to not only suck the marrow from the bones of life, I want to devour the bone of life itself. And enjoy the ride for the short spark of time we are here.

    Gotta run now, I have to go fulfill a dream.

Thoughts? Tell me what you think...

Subscribe for Updates

Archives