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.