I’ve heard and read Dr. King’s speech many times in my life, and each time it inspires me. I am inspired to fight for justice. I am inspired to continue to love my enemies. I am inspired to see people for who they really are – to see beyond the shell. I am inspired to be better in every way because he had a dream, and he was bold enough to say it, even though it cost him his life.
He had a dream, and the dream he had was beautiful. He dreamt of equality, prosperity, and brotherhood. He dreamt of justice, love, and freedom, not just for the black man, but for all people of every color. His dream was good.
And although it can be tempting, especially for people who are white (like me), to think so, we have to remember this: we haven’t made his dream come true. We aren’t there, yet. There is still much work to be done.
I don’t know how to fix the problem of racism, or any issue our country and world faces, except with love. Love that rises above class and color and everything else. Love that puts others first.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
In his final speech, Dr. King spoke of the modern day Good Samaritan. He said, “The question is not, ‘If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?’ The question is, ‘If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?‘ That’s the question.”
That’s still the question. Let us not be afraid to ask it.