This is my family.
My boys and my cousin’s son, in their Christmas jammies, completely oblivious to the fact that 50 or 60 years ago this would not have been possible.
Unaware that hate between their races exists in the world.
Instead, they embrace each other. They love each other.
Last week, Jack came home from school talking about Martin Luther King Jr. With awe in his voice, he told me, “He changed the world.”
With the faith and simplicity of a child he came up with solutions for segregation – “he could have just taken the signs down!”
With great thought and contemplation he wondered why we don’t have African Americans in our school. (A largely hispanic/white neighborhood)
And with hope he says now, “The world is better because of Martin Luther King Jr.”
Yes, yes it is, my son.
And inside I cry out – we still have so far to go!
But I have a dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
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.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
Much of MLK’s dream has come true. Many have seen the changes take place. Others are still crying out for redemption. For justice. For peace.
Many of the problems in our world feel too big. The hatred. The oppression. The systemic disadvantages. The lack of compassion. Or help.
But this snapshot of my family brings me hope. This is the next generation of world changers. As Jack asks hard questions, “Why did they kill him?” I see his wheels turning. He is working out the problems, seeking solutions. He is already instituting change in the world in his love for his cousin.
I have a dream.
And I have hope.
A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”