It was on August 28, 1963 that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood before a crowd of more than two hundred thousand at the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his memorable “I Have a Dream” speech. Like many of you, I was given the day off from work in celebration of the amazing accomplishments of Dr. King. While some of us probably used the day to run errands or spend time with family and friends, I thought about the man that made the day possible and took a little time to reflect.
Dr. King had a dream for racial equality. His dream included a world of non violence where people of all races and nationalities didn’t just live and work together. These people were friends and colleagues. When Dr. King gave his most famous speech that day, his dream was far fetched. The idea of blacks and whites living and working together was never expected to come to fruition.
Almost fifty years later, Dr. King’s dream has come true in what some would’ve called an unbelievable fashion. Men and women of all ethnic backgrounds work side by side, live side by side and even maintain close personal relationships.
When I thought about Dr. King’s dream, I couldn’t help thinking about my own dream. Though his was much nobler and less self-serving than mine, I too have long carried what sometimes feels like the impossible dream. For those of you who know me, you know what I’m about to say.
I’ve long dreamed of being a professional writer, of being able to go into the book store and purchase a copy of my book and see my hard work become a reality. In my wilder dreams, I pictured a nationwide book tour with signings and radio and television appearances and the eventual movie adaption.
As I’m sure it once did for Dr. King and his supporters, my dream seems like one that I’ll never see come to pass. Lately, that’s been reinforced by a steady stream of rejection letters for my latest novel offering and lack of placement in a young adult novel contest I entered. While my instinctive urge is to give in to a moment of self-pity and curl up in a ball and cry about it, my thoughts are once again drawn to Dr. King.
Dr. King never gave up on his dream. If he had, our society wouldn’t be the same. Sure, there might have been another to take up the mantle, but there was no one like the charismatic King. The passion he felt for his work showed in every aspect of his life. Though his time on Earth was short, he left an indelible mark that still resonates.
I also have a dream. My dream is selfish, but it’s my dream and it’s not in me to give up on it. Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for setting such a fine example, for helping me to understand the meaning of the word perspective, for sharing your passion with the world and for inspiring me and countless others not to give up on our dreams.