“I have a dream.”
Words often spoken and heard, but rarely felt with the weight in which they were originally spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In this individualistic, consumer-driven, capitalistic society, Dr. King’s “dream” has turned into a brand of sorts; something we all see, know, and are aware of, but maybe don’t always appreciate on the level we should.
We have possibly heard it so much that we have become desensitized to its true meaning. Very often we also conveniently shape it, bend it, and smash it to fit into our own personal life meaning, addressing our own personal agendas and goals and dreams.
But Dr. King’s dream had nothing to do with individualistic gain, or selfishness. Contrarily, his dream, in a time when a black man had not the luxury to dream, was an avant-garde, selfless hope for the masses; a collective wish to turn the reality of a nightmare into something better, for all.
The only selfish part of his dream is that it was his dream, and though he was willing to share it, he took full ownership in having the audacity and the courage to peacefully fight its way into manifestation, willing to give every breath of his life right down to his death.
And though fragments and pieces of his dream have been realized, we know that many Americans still live in the nightmare that Dr. King lived in, fought against, and that the struggle is far from over; our struggle is far from over.
Sure, we can celebrate Dr. King on a holiday. We can quote him once a year. But if we truly want to honor him, and all of those who sacrificed their lives for a future they would inevitably never see, we will continue the efforts of those who came before us, pushing, fighting, living daily, until we see Dr. King’s dream actualized, realized and lived by all.
It still seems like a dream. But we can dream.