Dream Ridiculously Big

Every year, as Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday approaches on January 15, my family takes turns reading aloud his famous “I have a dream” speech. We watch it on YouTube too. I am always deeply affected when I read and hear that speech.  I often wonder: what would our country be like today, had he lived longer?

My family talks about what he tried to do for the civil rights movement. We explore examples of prejudice and racism. I tell them our country has made some progress, but still has a long way to go.

These are difficult topics and the children are still quite young, so we keep the language very simple. Some day, unfortunately, they may experience prejudice and even discrimination, because of their hearing loss.  Hopefully, I can empower them with tools to handle those experiences with grace, clarity, and authenticity.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was inspiring because he had a lofty vision: 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. And he worked towards that dream by attempting to correct so many wrongs.

Those words, “I have a dream,” are so very simple, and yet, so powerful. My friend Debbie Lacy, a life coach, has a wonderful, thought-provoking exercise titled, “Dream Ridiculously Big,” which gets you thinking about the very, very big picture of your life. MLK certainly knew what his big dream was.  I wish he had lived long enough to fulfill it.

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3 Responses to Dream Ridiculously Big

  1. Lisa says:

    I know, I get goosebumps listening to Martin Luther King Jr. Every time! Just an hour ago the kids and are were talking about what a difference one person can make and the example was MLK Jr. It reminds me of the bumper sticker “Be the change you want to see”. Which then reminds me of the documentary everyone should see “I am”–the question asked is “is human nature hardwired to be cooperative or competitive?” Check for it on the OWN network–Super Soul Sunday. It’s fascinating science about how we’re all linked together.

  2. Karen says:

    How wonderful that you read the speech with your family!
    I am sad that the MLK Day event I organized had to be canceled due to the snow.
    I’m reading a wonderful book called “Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life,” by Gregg Levoy. He believes that our childhood challenges help prepare us for our callings in later life. If their mother is any indication, your children will grow up to be wise contributors to a better world.

  3. Mark Purcell says:

    Later in his life, a period we assiduously forget, King made blistering attacks against American colonialism (in Vietnam) and against capitalism, which he argued was an evil equal to racism. As we increasingly extend American military power across the world, and as capitalism produces increasingly harsh crises and inequality, I think we are ignoring this later King at our peril. ‘I have a dream’ is comforting because it is now uncontroversial, but I think we also need to remember and engage his other arguments, his more dangerous ones, because they might be the very arguments that can save us now.

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