One of the most famous dreams ever shared was by Martin Luther King, Jr. He publicly declared his dreams in front of thousands in Washington, DC on August 28, 1963, as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. King’s appearance was the last of the event and his closing speech was carried live on major television networks. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King evoked the name of Lincoln in his “I Have a Dream” speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Here are the following lines from the speech that focused on the phrase “I have a dream.”
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American 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, 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.”
Declaring your dreams in front of thousands of people at the Linolcn Memorial could sound a bit intimidating. Or perhaps you are feeling totally rarin’ to go and say “Bring on the throngs of humanity and hear me roar!” All the more power to you I say! Go wild woman!
No matter where you fall in the spectrum of loving or fearing public speaking we all have dreams. Dreams that keep us going on the most difficult of days. Dreams that quietly inspire us. Dreams that excite us and make us want to dance and jump up and down. Dreams that make some of us get on a stage to make people laugh or perhaps even make them cry. Dreams that make us better people. Dreams that make the world a better place.
What are your dreams?
Do you have many or is there one overarching dream above them all?
Consider the ways in which you can begin to share your dreams.
Consider the ways in which you can act on your dreams.
If you need a little help just start it this way “I have a dream that one day…”
While you contemplate your dreams and prepare to share them here at the campfire listen and watch this inspiring video set to BeBe Winans song I Have A Dream (featuring Martin Luther King, Jr.)